Photo by Rob Meyers
The Bonneville Power Administration will begin the BP-22 Integrated Program Review public process June 15. The process will last approximately 30 days and include workshops on specific programs June 16-17.
The IPR is a biennial public process where BPA solicits regional input from customers, stakeholders and others on its proposed expense and capital program spending levels for the upcoming rate period. The BP-22 IPR final spending levels will serve as the foundation for developing power and transmission rates for the next rate period, fiscal years 2022 and 2023.
In his opening letter of the BP-22 IPR Initial Publication, published June 12, BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty for the agency’s customers.
“Given the current circumstances, we believe it is as important as ever for BPA to take a pragmatic approach to program spending levels consistent with trustworthy stewardship and maintaining collaborative relationships,” said Mainzer. “This IPR will serve as a baseline of costs for the BP-22 rates, while recognizing the need to remain flexible and adaptable to the changing conditions.”
Mainzer added that changing conditions, such as those associated with the COVID-19 pandemic response or impacts of the Columbia River System Operations review, may require an IPR 2 in the early months of 2021 in order to revisit proposed BP-22 IPR spending levels.
In its BP-22 IPR Initial Publication, BPA describes how the agency is transitioning to a new way of connecting its work to the BPA 2018-2023 Strategic Plan through the use of program plans. The 2020 process continues to follow the cost-management objective outlined in the strategic plan to hold total program costs for each business line at or below the rate of inflation through 2028. Controlling IPR costs is essential for remaining fiscally responsible, sustaining the agency’s financial strength and helping BPA provide competitive rates. The program costs are part of the equation to develop the initial rate proposal for the formal rate case.
“The expense and capital spending levels determined in the IPR process are just one component, albeit a very important component, of costs and factors used in setting rates,” said BPA Chief Financial Officer Michelle Manary. “Many other assumptions and inputs, such as market prices and forecast secondary net revenues, will be considered in the rate-setting process.”
The strategic plan describes the actions BPA is taking as it continues to become more competitive and responsive to customer needs, to leverage and enable industry change through modernized assets and system operations, and to deliver on BPA’s public responsibilities through a commercially successful business.
BPA will host an executive-led kickoff workshop on June 15, followed by two days of program-specific workshops on transmission, federal hydropower, grid modernization, information technology, Columbia Generating Station, energy efficiency, and fish and wildlife. A comment period will open on June 15 and run through July 15. A closeout report, anticipated to be released in late September, will outline final spending details, including any additional cost-management actions that BPA identifies by the time final decisions are made. The agency expects to have a more complete understanding of impacts from the COVID-19 response and CRSO review by the end of the year, and will be better able to determine if an IPR 2 will be necessary.
Learn more about the IPR process and proposed spending levels at www.bpa.gov/goto/IPR