Bonneville Power Admin-istration (BPA) in the US’ Pacific Northwest is listening to customers before making tough decisions about future business plans. Customers have asked the administration to be good financial stewards and do everything possible to keep rates low.

‘We are the stewards of the great- est hydroelectric system in the country,’ said BPA administrator Steve Wright. ‘Our system provides 45% of the power and 75% of transmission in the Pacific Northwest at cost. We don’t make profits. We want to take care of the system we’ve inherited and leave it in good shape for the future.’

Wright adds that BPA has an asset that is of incredible value to the region but to maintain this in the long term, ‘we must restore its financial health’.

Speaking to various audiences in the Northwest, Wright has asked whether BPA should increase rates again, while the economy is not doing so well, or should it cut spending on fish and wildlife, energy conservation and renewables in the region? ‘Our purpose is to hold a mirror up to the region,’ Wright said. ‘No one choice will be the full solution and BPA is likely to mix and match among them. There is no silver bullet that solves the problems.’