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BPA to offer $425K incentive to PA for power "smoothing"

August 21st, 2013 - 6:32am

(Port Angeles) -- The city of Port Angeles may get a one-time payment of $425-thousand dollars from the Bonneville Power Administration under an agreement signed by the city council last night.

It's a BPA incentive intended to smooth out the surges of power demands to Port Angeles. Many are caused by the city's largest customer, Nippon Paper Industries.

"The city is actually Bonneville's customer," said city power manager Phil Lusk. "From Bonneville's perspective, Nippon is our consumer. It means we have a contractual relationship with all the parties."

Lusk says BPA wants to help the city find ways to conserve power by encouraging non-peak usage and cutting back during higher usage throughout its system.

"Bonneville simply wants to test the ability to reduce demand during high-peak loads," said Lusk. "Conventionally, they would add generation, but they found in certain circumstances, reducing load is as effective as adding a power plant. So, by using some of the assets located in the city, we may be able to assist Bonneville in meeting and balancing its electrical loads."

Bonneville is offering the city 425-thousand dollars for a seven-month period.

Meanwhile, city staff have been negotiating with Nippon, and early indications are that an agreement could be reached soon. Lusk says they hope to conclude negotiations within the next month to six weeks.

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