The region’s utilities expect to have enough electrical generating capability to meet demand, but the hydro power shortage could drive up electricity rates, the group warned.

All Northwest utilities rely on hydro power for some portion of their electrical supply. When water conditions are average or better, BPA and the other utilities sell excess energy in surplus markets and use the revenue to help hold down rates for Pacific Northwest customers. To the extent that sales are down due to low water, revenues are falling short of projections.