Bonneville Power Administration Makes $736 Million Payment To U.S. Treasury

The Bonneville Power Administration has made its 37th consecutive U.S. Treasury payment of $736 million, which covers a variety of costs, including irrigation assistance that BPA provides to help irrigators repay their share of certain Bureau of Reclamation projects.

The Bonneville Power Administration made the Oct. 2, on time and in full. This year’s $736 million payment brings BPA’s cumulative payments to the Treasury to more than $31 billion.

“I am so pleased to announce our 37th consecutive treasury payment,” said Michelle Manary, BPA’s chief financial officer. “This year was full of historic and unpredictable events that impacted the region’s energy and economic landscape. BPA remained committed through all of it to meeting customer needs and executing our financial plan to the best of our ability.”

BPA is a self-financed power marketing administration that receives no annual appropriation funding from Congress. Instead, BPA primarily recovers its costs through revenues from the sale of electric power and transmission services.

Each year BPA pays back to the U.S. Treasury a portion of the taxpayers’ investment in the Federal Columbia River Power System, which includes the federal hydropower dams that produce renewable electricity and the transmission system.

BPA sets its rates to maintain an annual 97.5% probability of making this payment.

This year’s payment to the U.S. Treasury includes $471 million in principal and $208 million in interest. The remaining $57 million covers a variety of other costs, including irrigation assistance that BPA provides to help irrigators repay their share of certain Bureau of Reclamation projects.

Fiscal year 2020 brought the end of the first phase of the Regional Cooperation Debt program, a multiyear collaboration with Energy Northwest that allowed the extension of low-cost debt. This year, $20 million of U.S. Treasury obligations were amortized early as part of the last step in this phase of the program.

Revenues that would have been used to pay off nonfederal bonds were instead used to pay off higher interest rate U.S. Treasury debt. This phase of the RCD program provided the region over $2.79 billion in gross debt-service savings.

Also see:

— CBB, March 19, 2020, DRAFT REPORT PEGS BPA’S 2019 FISH/WILDLIFE COSTS AT $788 MILLION, $17 BILLION SINCE 1981; 25 PERCENT OF WHOLESALE POWER RATE https://www.cbbulletin.com/draft-report-pegs-bpas-2019-fish-wildlife-costs-at-788-million-17-billion-since-1981-25-percent-of-wholesale-power-rate/

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