February Message from the Manager
2017 brings lower rates
Last month, I talked about electric rates from one of Burke-Divide Electric Cooperative’s (BDEC) power suppliers, Basin Electric Power Cooperative. BDEC purchases about 85 percent of our power from Basin Electric.
We purchase the remaining 15 percent of our power from Western Area Power Administration (WAPA). WAPA is one of four power marketing administrations under the U.S. Department of Energy. WAPA annually markets and transmits more than 25,000 gigawatt hours of clean, renewable power from 56 hydroelectric power plants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 15 western and central states, including North Dakota.
For more than 10 years, WAPA saw higher expenses to cover increased power purchases due to drought. As the drought lowered hydropower generation, WAPA purchased more power to meet its firm power commitments to its customers. The drought-related expenses were passed on to customers through a drought adder rate component.
As water systems have recovered and reservoirs have refilled, WAPA has more hydropower to market. For customers like BDEC, the drought adder financial obligation has been repaid ahead of schedule. As a result, the drought-adder has been removed from the cooperative’s power cost.
At the December 2016 board meeting, the board of directors reviewed the cooperative’s rate schedules impacted by WAPA’s power costs. The board voted to pass WAPA’s rate reduction onto the membership.
We encourage you to view current rate schedules by clicking here or by calling the office at 701-939-6671 to request a copy of your rate schedule(s).
Until next time,