The Bonneville Power Administration and Puget Sound Energy have reached a power purchase agreement that will help fill PSE’s capacity need as identified in the 2018 All Sources Request for Proposal. PSE has been evaluating resources that fulfill the capacity need and are aligned with the goals and objectives of Washington’s Clean Energy Transformation Act, which requires PSE to be coal free by 2025 and its electric system to be carbon neutral by 2030.
“We have a commitment to the environment and deep decarbonization, so we’re excited to have reached a deal that will bring our customers clean energy like hydropower,” said PSE Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President David Mills. “To meet the anticipated energy needs of the region in the coming years, we will continue to look for resources on behalf of our customers.”
Under the five-year agreement beginning in January 2022, BPA will offer to sell PSE up to 100 megawatts of surplus power, generated from the Federal Columbia River Power System. At any given moment, that’s enough electricity to power approximately 80,000 Northwest homes.
“This contract is another example of how BPA is working toward greater cost competitiveness and capturing the additional value of the low carbon federal hydro system,” said Suzanne Cooper, BPA’s vice president of bulk marketing. “By strengthening partnerships with regional utilities we can collectively adapt to the rapidly changing energy environment and that’s a great thing for all of us in the Pacific Northwest.”
In addition to allowing BPA to take advantage of a new opportunity to market its clean, flexible hydropower and generate new revenues from capacity sales as part of broadening its portfolio of power products, the contract allows PSE to meet its capacity needs.
“As a leading non-profit whose sole focus is advocating for new, clean, sustainable and renewable resources, Renewable Northwest applauds this new 100 MW capacity and energy agreement between BPA and Puget Sound Energy,” said Nicole Hughes, Executive Director, Renewable NW. “By using BPA’s clean Hydro system to help integrate new renewable resources in place of fossil fuels, they continue to help advance the region towards reducing our carbon footprint. This deal is a win for both organizations and the region.”
Because resources like hydroelectricity can quickly increase and decrease to meet power demand, they can help the region achieve its renewable goals by dovetailing with more variable output resources such as wind and solar.
“The agreement by the Bonneville Power Administration to provide Puget Sound Energy with 100MW of cost-effective energy and capacity represents an important next step in utilizing the region’s hydropower resources to integrate new, renewable resources into the Northwest electric system as it transitions away from fossil fuels,” said Wendy Gerlitz, NW Energy Coalition’s policy director. “This deal, which follows BPA’s 2018 agreement to provide energy and capacity to Portland General Electric, also shows that BPA is doing the important work of developing new markets to strengthen the agency’s financial health.”