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When river flows are high, extra water can be spilled from the dams so that it does not contribute to oversupply, but too much spill exceeds water quality standards and can harm fish and other aquatic species. If water cannot be spilled, it must be passed through the hydropower turbines, thus generating electricity.
Oversupply is most likely to occur at night, when power demand is low, and in the springtime, when river flows and wind generation are high.
In these conditions, BPA may need to implement the Oversupply Management Protocol, under which non-hydro generation is displaced to protect aquatic life and maintain system reliability. Under the protocol, BPA compensates generators for their displacement-related costs.

OS-14 Rate Proceeding
The agency launched the OS-14 rate proceeding in November 2012 to set rates to recover the costs from compensating displaced generators under OMP. On March 27, 2014, BPA issued the Final Record of Decision. BPA will be billing parties under the OS-14 rate for costs incurred in 2012. A workbook with billing amounts by customer is located here.

Report of oversupply cost validation 2014
Accion Group, Inc., has validated the data submitted by 10 randomly selected generators for the 2014 oversupply season.
See a public version of Accion’s report, in which specific cost information has been redacted.
Report of oversupply cost validation 2013
Accion Group, Inc., has validated the data submitted by 10 randomly selected generators for the 2013 oversupply season.
See a public version of Accion’s report, in which specific cost information has been redacted.
BPA refiles Oversupply Management Protocol with FERC
BPA refiled Attachment P, the Oversupply Management Protocol section of the BPA Open Access Transmission Tariff, in a filing to FERC on March 1. BPA submitted the filing after considering comments received on revisions the agency proposed in January.

FERC grants BPA’s request for deadline extension
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has granted BPA’s request to extend the deadline for submitting the Oversupply Management Protocol cost allocation methodology. BPA’s filing is now due within 30 days of our final oversupply rate (OS-14) filing, which we expect will be in early August. 
See the FERC Order.
Potential for wind displacement in 2013
BPA has estimated the amount of wind generation that could be displaced with federal hydropower during the upcoming oversupply season, April through July 2013. See a summary of the findings.
Report of oversupply cost validation
An independent evaluator, Accion Group, Inc., has validated the data submitted by 10 randomly selected generators for the 2012 oversupply season.
See a public version of Accion’s report, in which specific cost information has been redacted.

Dec. 20, 2012 FERC Orders

FERC issued two orders on Dec. 20, 2012. 

Order denying rehearing: FERC denied BPA’s request for rehearing of the commission’s Dec. 7, 2011, order on BPA’s Environmental Redispatch policy.

Order conditionally accepting compliance filing: FERC conditionally accepted BPA’s Oversupply Management Protocol filing.  However, it requires BPA to file a revised cost allocation methodology within 90 days of the order. BPA is determining how to reconcile the order with the OS-14 rate case currently underway. 

2012 policy material and background

BPA's proposed oversupply management protocol

BPA sought comments on a draft proposal to address seasonal electricity oversupply.
Filings with FERC:
Additional Responses can be found on FERC's Web site at At the site enter EL11-44 in the Docket Number field and click submit.


The agency continues to carefully monitor weather, streamflow trends, total dissolved gas levels, load and generation forecasts. Additional information is available below and on the BPA After-Hours web site.

  • Spring Operations Review Forum meetings: during the spring runoff season, BPA is sponsoring weekly meetings to update interested parties on system operating conditions.
  • Meetings took place each Friday, beginning April 8 and ending July 8. For more information, see the  Spring Operations Forum backpage.

Assessment tools
Follow the links below to get real-time data on regional generation, load, river and weather conditions.

Join the conversation
  • To join the e-mail distribution list, please send your contact information to Maryam Asgharian,
  • BPA will provide subscribers with new information as it becomes available and invitations to future public events.

2011 policy update material and background

BPA announced on May 13 that if the current weather, stream and load forecasts prove accurate, it is likely the region will face a temporary oversupply event - more electricity is generated than is needed - sometime in the next five days. In order to assure reliable energy delivery when generation exceeds loads, the difference must be exported, reduced or turned off. As a last resort, BPA issued its new Environmental Redispatch interim policy to temporarily limit energy generation.

If BPA has to implement this interim policy, BPA will first limit generation at coal, natural gas and other thermal power plants to minimum reliability levels. (The region's only nuclear plant is already shutdown for scheduled maintenance.) If generation continues to exceed load, BPA would then temporarily limit regional wind generators.

If BPA has to temporarily limit energy generation under Environmental Redispatch, it will replace all displaced thermal and wind generation with free hydropower from federal dams on the Columbia River system. BPA will continue working with its regional partners to develop a long-term solution to seasonal high water/high wind events.

Reports and context
  • Read three recent products addressing different aspects of renewable resource integration, the temporary oversupply of power and Environmental Redispatch

    • Overview of the six major categories of support BPA provides wind generation in the Northwest.
    • Summary of actions BPA considered to avoid Environmental Redispatch.
    • Comprehensive analysis of BPA's interim policy on Environmental Redispatch in Q & A format.
  • Read analysis of Total Dissolved Gas (TDG) studies by the Fish Passage Center and BPA.
  • Read a background paper providing more information on the oversupply challenges facing the region.
  • Review the proposal BPA sent to coal-fired thermal generation owners offering them a flexible displacement product designed to meet their power delivery obligations under specifically defined high streamflow conditions that result in temporary oversupply of power.

  • In a February 2011 letter BPA gives an update of the actions the agency is working on, plus the notes from the December 2010 public workshop.
  • Read a December 2010 update letter from BPA's project manager.
  • BPA issued a baseline report in September 2010 outlining the steps BPA and others took during the June high Columbia River stream flow event to avoid harming fish because of excess spill. The agency used this report as a starting point for an open regional discussion about additional operational and policy tools that may be needed to respond effectively to future high-runoff events, and to protect fish listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Public meetings

BPA hosted a series of three workshops to share information about oversupply and to elicit feedback and comments from regional stakeholders in a public venue.

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