Since 2001, in response to a request by the governors of the four Northwest states, the Council has reported annually on all fish and wildlife costs incurred by Bonneville. These costs have four primary components:
- The Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program, including direct expenditures and capital investments (debt-funded) in facilities and some land purchases.
- Reimbursements to the federal Treasury to repay the power share of congressional appropriations for Federal Columbia River Power System fish and wildlife mitigation. Also, direct-funding payments to the other federal agencies for the power share of fish and wildlife mitigation they perform to address impacts of FCRPS hydropower dams they operate.
- Forgone hydropower sales revenue that results from Columbia and Snake river dam operations to aid passage of juvenile and adult anadromous fish, such as spilling water that otherwise would be used to generate electricity.
- The cost of electricity purchased by Bonneville to make up for power that could not be generated at the dams because of the fish-passage operations.
In this 12th annual report, the Council provides an update of all fish and wildlife costs incurred by Bonneville through Fiscal Year 2012. In Fiscal Year 2012, Bonneville reported that all of its fish and wildlife costs totaled approximately $644.1 million, as follows:
- $248.9 million in direct (expense) costs
- $73.0 million in direct costs and reimbursements to the federal Treasury for expenditures by the Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for investments in fish passage and fish production, including direct funding of operations and maintenance expenses of federal fish hatcheries; this category also includes one-half of the Council’s annual approximately $10 million budget ($5 million in 2012; the other $5 million is assigned to the Power Business Line budget)
- $131.5 million in fixed costs (interest, amortization, and depreciation) of capital investments for facilities such as hatcheries, fish-passage facilities at dams, and some land purchases for fish and wildlife habitat
- $152.2 million in forgone hydropower sales revenue that results from dam operations that benefit fish but reduce hydropower generation
- $38.5 million in power purchases during periods when dam operations to protect migrating fish reduce hydropower generation, such as by spilling water over dams in the spring or storing it behind dams in winter months in anticipation of required spring spills
The $644.1 million total does not include capital investments in 2012 totaling $57.5 million for Program-related projects, and $114.5 million for associated federal projects, including capital investments at dams operated by the Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation. These investments are funded by congressional appropriations and repaid by Bonneville. Including them in the same total as fixed costs would double-count some of the capital investment. The total also does not reflect a credit of $77 million from the federal Treasury related to fish and wildlife costs in 2012. Adding in the credit reduces the total fish and wildlife costs to $567.1 million in fiscal year 2012 (the credit is explained in more detail in the “Power System Costs” section of the report).
Comments were received through June 7, 2013.