Manager’s Message – Fall 2017
Our weather continues to be a season of extremes. The 2017 Farmers’ Almanac had forecasted a hot and wet summer for the Pacific Northwest. At least they got part of that right. This has been one of the driest and warmest summers I have recalled as a lifelong Pierce County resident. Consequently, the snow levels from our cold, wet winter meant that our region had an oversupply of water to contend with into July. Unfortunately, this excess creates extra costs for the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), which are passed along to all of their customers. We received notification from BPA that our power charges, for the next two-year rate period (Oct 2017-Sep 2019), will increase by 5.06% for power and 0.27% for transmission. In addition, the Judge Simon decision is forcing other external pressure on hydroelectric costs. The federal court ruling requires that upgrades be made to dams located on both the Snake and Columbia River systems, to preserve salmon and steelhead runs. The resulting overspill surcharges which will be allocated to all BPA customers within the same rate period. These costs are in addition to the increases listed above. We are still analyzing what impact these increased costs will have upon future LLP rates.
On a brighter note, you may have noticed that the City of Lakewood’s Economic Development plan is in full swing. There are many new businesses coming into our region. Despite the heat and new construction, our talented crew has consistently managed the health of our grid. In July, our crews performed planned maintenance on our Tyee substation. Much of the work included upgrading and testing of the electrical components, oil circuit breaker analysis, and painting. We also implemented earthquake redesign to make the substation less susceptible to earthquake damage. This is an example of how we ensure good stewardship of our member-owned resources and the reliable supply of power to our members.