BPA files reciprocity tariff with FERC

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) on March 30 filed its proposed tariff for granting open and non-discriminatory access to its transmission system with FERC.

The tariff was the result of a year-long public process with customers and stakeholders that BPA officials described as “extensive and collaborative.”

Throughout the process, BPA “took care of numerous issues, and we’ve also been working to provide information [on issues] that were pointed out to us by FERC when they returned it to us originally,” a BPA spokesperson told TransmissionHub on April 4.

The filing incorporates a number of provisions BPA discussed with customers over the past year and “demonstrates BPA’s commitment to open access and to continue working with customers,” according to a BPA statement accompanying the filing.

Most notably, the revised tariff includes BPA’s oversupply management protocol, which the organization submitted separately to FERC on March 6. The revised tariff also adds a section on generator imbalance services, a section on determining the amount of capacity available for generator imbalance services, and updates or deletes the definitions of several terms included in the tariff (Docket EL11-44-000).  

FERC approved most provisions of BPA’s previously filed tariff in an order issued in July 2009, but required modifications to other parts of the proposed tariff. As part of its order, FERC denied BPA what is known as reciprocity status until the agency made an appropriate compliance filing.

Granting “reciprocity status” means that FERC has found that BPA grants open access to its transmission system, which therefore entitles BPA to receive open access transmission service from other transmission providers.

BPA made the filing under voluntary provisions established by FERC that BPA has used since 1996. Because some, including Iberdrola Renewables and Renewable Northwest Project, have argued that FERC’s Dec. 7, 2011 order should be interpreted to mean that BPA must file its tariff under mandatory provisions, BPA has filed a clarification request with FERC to clarify that BPA’s voluntary approach continues to be appropriate.

FERC does not have a specific schedule for review of BPA’s reciprocity filing.