The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) on April 29 and April 30 ordered wind farms in the Pacific Northwest to cut production because of a surplus of power from hydroelectric dams, according to CBS News.
BPA reportedly confirmed it issued the orders during the early morning hours of both days when demand was low, the article said.
Wind producers disputed a similar shut down of generation in May 2011 because heavy runoff produced too much hydroelectric power. BPA proposed in February 2012 to pay half of the losses incurred by wind power producers that shut down when the extra hydropower was too much for the grid to handle. The cost would be passed on in increased rates for major customers, such as public utilities, federal installations and the aluminum industry.
Michael Milstein, a BPA spokesman, said in the article that spring runoff has picked up in the past month or two. The agency controls a majority of the region’s transmission system and markets power from a system of 31 dams and a nuclear plant in Washington. The nuclear plant reportedly reduced its output to 85 percent on April 30 in an effort to ease the situation, the article said.
Wind power companies will be reimbursed for lost revenue, BPA said in the article.
In December, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered the agency not to discriminate against wind power companies if such a situation arose again. Bonneville has asked for a rehearing while trying to reach an agreement with wind producers.
Read more renewable energy news