BPA to raise rates 7.8 percent for some utilities

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Bonneville Power Administration plans to raise wholesale power rates for consumer-owned utilities by 7.8 percent in October.

The Portland-based federal power marketing agency said Tuesday the rate hike was needed to cover the costs of fixing aging dams, fuel purchases and repairs at the Columbia Generating Station nuclear plant, and fish and wildlife conservation.

The Oregonian reports that a higher rate increase was avoided by borrowing more from the U.S. Treasury.

Bonneville sells power from 31 federal hydroelectric dams and the nuclear plant to about 140 publicly owned utilities in the region, most of them consumer-owned utilities. The BPA also serves investor-owned utilities in the Northwest.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com