BPA, council seek bids to analyze Northwest hydro system

Bonneville Power Administration and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council seek bids from regional power experts to review the Pacific Northwest hydropower system. Bids are due June 6.

The agencies said consultants are needed to help the Pacific Northwest Resource Adequacy Forum, an ad hoc industry group, analyze sustained hydro peaking capacity. Experts are to collect analyses from utilities and to perform analyses for utilities needing them.

BPA and the council said results are to bolster the Northwest power industry’s ability to provide early warning when demand for electricity might overwhelm available supply.

�We are increasingly seeing periods in summer and winter when the hydroelectric backbone of the Pacific Northwest power grid is put to the test to meet consumers’ demand for energy while also meeting other requirements, such as safe fish passage,� BPA Power Services Senior Vice President Paul Norman said.

Growth in peak loads, the need to limit hydro generation at certain times to support fish passage, and the expansion of intermittent wind generation all are factors putting greater stress on the hydropower system, Norman said.

Proposed contract work is to provide data to support a Resource Adequacy Standard adopted by the council. The standard defines minimum threshold levels of electrical resources necessary for an adequate Northwest power supply system. It also helps the electricity industry assure the availability of additional power plants or other strategies for power reliability, even during critical events.

The Pacific Northwest Resource Adequacy Forum identified a need for better understanding of the performance of the hydropower system in meeting peak loads and non-power obligations under challenging conditions. Those conditions, it said, could include droughts, winter cold snaps, and summer heat spells.

Bids are due June 6. For the statement of work for the project, contact Rachel Kulak, E-mail: rakulak@bpa.gov.

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