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BPA makes annual payment to U.S. treasury

BPA recently made its 30th consecutive annual payment, in full and on time, to the U.S. Treasury: a total of $692 million for fiscal year 2013, which ended Sept. 30.

Including this year, BPA’s cumulative payments to the U.S. Treasury during these 30 consecutive years amount to over $23.8 billion.

This year’s payment includes: $224 million in principal; $367 million in interest; $59 million in irrigation assistance payments; and $42 million in other payments.

Included in the $42 million of other payments is a $36 million payment to ensure that ratepayers, not taxpayers, fund post-retirement benefit programs for FCRPS employees.

Of the $692 million total payment, $131 million is paid by applying Treasury credits for non-power-related fish mitigation efforts and for interest earnings.

The principal payment is less than in the past because BPA was scheduled to repay a higher amount of nonfederal debt this year.

This year BPA repaid $513 million of nonfederal debt principal, of which $500 million was related to Energy Northwest projects. Energy Northwest develops, owns and operates a diverse mix of electricity generating resources, including the Northwest’s only nuclear generating facility.

In addition to the U.S. Treasury payment, BPA paid operations and maintenance expenses for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife service projects directly funded by BPA. This direct funding amounted to $345 million in fiscal year 2013.

BPA is a self-financed power marketing administration that covers all of its costs with revenues from Northwest ratepayers and other purchasers of its power and transmission products and services.

BPA receives no annual appropriations from the U.S. Congress.

BPA requires in its ratemaking process more than 95 percent certainty of making annual scheduled Treasury payments over two consecutive years, or 97.5 percent certainty of making the annual scheduled payments.

Because BPA is self-funded by customer revenues, and does not receive annual appropriations from Congress to fund its operations, it continues to operate during the current federal government shutdown.

Story courtesy Columbia Basin Bulletin, used by permission.

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