BPA’s aluminum power deals stir more debate

Nov 17, 2008 | 12:41 PM | Tom Jennemann

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposal to provide nearly $100 million in annual power subsidies to the aluminum industry has stirred up another round of debate in the Pacific Northwest.

BPA has proposed providing electricity discounts of up to $66 million annually to Alcoa Inc.'s Intalco aluminum smelter in Ferndale, Wash. The agency has also proposed $33 million in annual subsidies for Columbia Falls Aluminum Co. LLC in Columbia Falls, Mont.

In October, Pittsburgh-based Alcoa and the BPA signed a memorandum of understanding that provided the framework for a contract that would begin in October 2011 and run through 2028 to provide up to 240 megawatts of direct power sales, enough to operate the facility at 50-percent capacity, contingent upon BPA buying additional power to augment the Northwest power system, within certain threshold price levels.....

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