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10/31/2019

FERC Orders BPA to Halt Discriminatory Transmission Practices in Landmark Case

FERC Orders BPA to Halt Discriminatory Transmission Practices in Landmark Case

FERC requires BPA to file an Open Access Transmission Tariff; ruling establishes framework for preserving Northwest’s low electricity prices

Click Here  for a PDF version of this press release.

December 7, 2011

PORTLAND, Ore. — Iberdrola Renewables, a member of a coalition of leading Pacific Northwest energy companies involved in landmark litigation with the Bonneville Power Administration, hailed a ruling today from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requiring BPA “to provide comparable transmission service that is not unduly discriminatory or preferential.”

“We are pleased with the Commission’s action on this important case, which establishes that BPA must offer open and non-discriminatory access to its transmission grid customers,” said Don Furman, senior vice president of Iberdrola Renewables.

“Fair and non-discriminatory grid operations ensures an efficient power market — which is the best way to keep energy prices low for all Northwest ratepayers,” added Furman. “Keeping the transmission lines open ensures that the cheapest supplies reach customers.

FERC (Commission) issued pursuant to its authority under Section 211A of the Federal Power Act an order directing BPA to file within 90 days revisions to its Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) to provide for transmission service on terms and conditions that are comparable to those under which BPA provides transmission services to itself and that are not unduly discriminatory or preferential. This is the first time the Commission has exercised its authority under Section 211A of the Federal Power Act.

The Commission found that Bonneville’s Environmental Redispatch Policy “significantly diminishes open access to transmission, and results in Bonneville providing transmission service to others on terms and conditions that are not comparable to those it provides itself.”  In particular, the Commission held that the policy results in unfair and noncomparable treatment of non-Federal generating resources connected to BPA’s system — resources the Commission found to be similarly situated to Federal hydroelectric and thermal resources for purposes of transmission curtailments because all such resources take firm transmission service. Environmental Redispatch was a policy that unfairly curtailed non-federal generation during high-water situations in the spring of 2011.

The Commission specifically noted that it is making no determinations as to whether actions taken by BPA in the past, whether pursuant to its Environmental Redispatch Policy or otherwise, were prohibited under BPA’s statutory authorities. To that end, to the extent BPA’s past actions are subject to judicial review by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; such review does not limit the Commission’s prospective exercise of authority in this proceeding under Section 211A.

Energy producers laud the ruling as a victory for power consumers in the Pacific Northwest.

“BPA’s policy, as we saw this past spring, was keeping prices higher for the power it was selling into the wholesale market — not protecting fish or maintaining reliability,” said Furman. “FERC’s ruling will stop this and other discriminatory practices, and allow all energy producers to compete on a level playing field.

“Despite our dispute on this issue, we have and will continue to work collaboratively with BPA. This is a great opportunity for the region’s utilities and consumers to work on long-term solutions,” Furman said. “We have a long history of working together to meet the region’s energy needs and look forward to better policies in the future.”

Media Contact:

Art Sasse, Director, Communications & Brand, Iberdrola Renewables, 503-796-7740
Paul Copleman, Media Relations, Iberdrola Renewables, 207-641-2805

 

About Avangrid

About Avangrid: Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) aspires to be the leading sustainable energy company in the United States. Headquartered in Orange, CT with approximately $44 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states, Avangrid has two primary lines of business: networks and renewables. Through its networks business, Avangrid owns and operates eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Through its renewables business, Avangrid owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. Avangrid employs approximately 8,000 people and has been recognized by JUST Capital in 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024 as one of the JUST 100 companies – a ranking of America’s best corporate citizens. In 2024, Avangrid ranked first among utilities and 12 overall. The company supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2024 for the sixth consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute. Avangrid is a member of the group of companies controlled by Iberdrola, S.A. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.

 

About Iberdrola: Iberdrola is one of the world's biggest energy companies and a leader in renewables, spearheading the energy transition to a low carbon economy. The group supplies energy to almost 100 million people in dozens of countries. With a focus on renewable energy, smart networks and smart solutions for customers, Iberdrola’s main markets include Europe (Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy and Greece), the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. The company is also present in growth markets such as Japan, Taiwan, Ireland, Sweden and Poland, among others.

With a workforce of nearly 40,000 and assets in excess of €141.7 billion, across the world, Iberdrola helps to support 400,000 jobs across its supply chain, with annual procurement of €12.2 billion. A benchmark in the fight against climate change, Iberdrola has invested more than €130 billion over the past two decades to help build a sustainable energy model, based on sound environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.

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