HYDROELECTRIC POWER ENGINEERS might fare all right. But office
administrators could face staff reductions of up to 50 percent.
Such are the recommendations filed March 10 by the Cost Review Management Committee assigned to recommend measures to the Bonneville Power Administration for its own internal cost review. Initiated by the governors of Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho, with oversight by the Northwest Power Planning Council, the committee was asked to study BPA's internal cost structure and recommend changes for internal management to ensure that BPA will can compete in long-term power and transmission markets in the years 2002-2006.
The cost review appears to be aimed more at preserving BPA as a player in the Pacific Northwest, rather than leveling the playing field. As the committee noted, BPA was to begin a subscription process in July to line up new long-term power sales contracts. The committee wanted to assure success in that effort, but saw utilities as "unlikely" to buy from BPA in the long-term unless BPA could reduce its cost structure. Overall, the committee suggested a return to basics:
HYDROPOWER. Return BPA to its historic role of marketing
and transmitting power produced by the Federal Columbia River Power System.
NEW GENERATION. End BPA's responsibility to acquire energy resources to meet load growth of customers.
CONSERVATION. Limit BPA's financial support of conservation
projects to current contractual obligations, provided they are
self-sustaining by 1999.
RENEWABLES. Define BPA's responsibility to develop renewable resources; limit research and development support.