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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Bonneville Power Administration's (BPA) potential to increase its power sales and exchanges outside the Pacific Northwest, focusing on: (1) BPA current use of exchanges or sales of surplus power outside the region; and (2) major constraints to increasing such exchanges or sales. GAO noted that: (1) in 1994, out-of-region sales represented 3.6 percent of the total electricity BPA marketed, while out-of-region exchanges comprised less than 1 percent of the electricity marketed; (2) BPA has nine long-term contracts for exchanges and sales outside the region; (3) BPA also sells its surplus power through short-term contracts, but long-term contracts are more attractive to BPA in terms of generating revenue, since surplus power is sold on a per-unit basis; and (4) BPA has had problems increasing power exchanges and sales under long-term contracts due to market-related factors, such as price competition from natural gas-generated electricity, and statutory restrictions affecting the terms of sales and types of customers BPA may have.

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