In 2000, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS) membership voted to acquire a 1/3 interest in the Pelton Project from PGE. This was to address the use of the lands needed to generate power on the Pelton Project. Federal law requires developers, like PGE, to compensate Tribes for land use and inundation of land for hydroelectric use. The Tribes purchased the initial 1/3 interest at a very discounted price, well below market value, to compensate for the land use and inundation of land. Revenue from the1/3 interest of energy sales has exceeded the amount of revenue that would have come though rent payment on the Tribal lands used by the Project.
The agreement reached and approved by the Federal government, after the membership voted to support the purchase, allows the CTWS to exercise a one-time option of acquiring an additional 1/6 interest in the Project, which would increase Tribal ownership interest to 49.99%.
On May 9, 2021, Tribal Council approved Resolution No. 12,811, which authorized advance notification to PGE that the CTWS will exercise this one-time option. Tribal Council authorized this with the understanding that increasing ownership continues with the intent of previous Tribal Councils’ goals of owning a majority interest in the Pelton Project in the future.
Warm Springs Power and Water Enterprise WSPWE) will now engage in the financing to acquire the additional interest in the project. WSPWE Board of Directors approved a new Power Sales Agreement with PGE that will have a positive impact on revenue generated from the Project’s sale of energy. An increase in revenue is expected from the flexibility the Project has that is known as capacity, which essentially means the Project can generate power during high demand times of the day without fluctuating the lower river flows.
The additional borrowing that will be necessary to acquire the additional 1/6th interest in the Pelton Project will be repaid with revenue generated by the Project and will not pledge other assets of the Tribe for collateral or repayment. The new agreement starts in 2025. By 2026 the Tribe can anticipate a good source of revenue for the general fund from our increased ownership interest in the Pelton Project.