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Originally published July 24, 2013 at 6:56 PM | Page modified July 24, 2013 at 11:39 PM

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Bonneville to raise power rates

The Bonneville Power Administration announced a 9 percent boost in the price charged for wholesale power, a move that will cause Seattle City Light to raise rates.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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NINE (9) PERCENT??? In one move? Wow, I could only imagine how nice t would be to... MORE
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The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) on Wednesday announced a 9 percent boost in the price charged for wholesale power, a move that will cause Seattle City Light to raise rates by an amount that has yet to be disclosed.

Also Wednesday, BPA announced an 11 percent increase in the cost of moving power through its transmission lines.

The new rates go into effect Oct. 1.

Seattle City Light purchases 41 percent of its power from BPA, which markets the electricity generated from a network of federal dams in the Columbia River Basin.

Seattle City Light officials had yet to determine how much the BPA price increases will affect rates for City Light’s 400,000 customers in the Seattle area.

“It takes some time to sort that out,” City Light spokesman Scott Thomsen said Wednesday afternoon.

BPA officials, in a statement, said the rate increases result from higher expenses to operate and maintain the federal hydroelectric system, including repairing and replacing major infrastructure. A major renovation is under way on powerhouses at Grand Coulee Dam in Washington.

BPA said it is also spending more on security and other requirements.

The added revenues also are needed to pay for long-term agreements for fish and wildlife programs and to offset reduced revenue from sales of surplus power outside the region during a period of low market prices.

The final rate proposal will be filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and will be in effect for two years.

Hal Bernton: 206-464-2581 or

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