The mission of the Public Power Council is to preserve and enhance the benefits of the Federal Columbia River Power System for consumer-owned utilities.
All of the region’s consumer-owned utilities have a legal and historic first right to federal power at cost.
Our Focus & Efforts
The Public Power Council (PPC) represents the Pacific Northwest’s consumer-owned utilities on important issues in the region and in Washington, D.C.
Our focus is on the federal Columbia River Power System, and on Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) ratemaking, revenue requirements and policies. In addition, PPC engages with BPA and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council on issues related to power supply planning and conservation, and strives to keep its members informed about transmission issues, including rates and potential impacts to the Northwest from federal policy proposals. Columbia River Basin fish and wildlife recovery efforts are a large component of power rates in the Northwest, and PPC tracks developments in this arena and partners in its advocacy with other regional parties.
PPC and its member utilities have a strong environmental interest and are committed to mitigating the impacts of FCRPS operations. That mitigation must be scientifically-based, cost-effective, and have a clear nexus with the operations of the hydro system. Such mitigation measures serve dual purposes and PPC’s distinct but interconnected interests – they promote the restoration of the region’s valued endangered and threatened species, and ultimately, reduce the fish and wildlife impacts and costs associated with FCRPS operations. This enables PPC members to offer affordable, reliable, clean, and environmentally-responsible power to the residents and businesses of the communities they serve.
In all of these efforts, the bottom line for PPC is to create consensus positions and to safeguard and protect the priority rights of consumer-owned utilities to federally generated power at cost. PPC’s mission from the outset was to represent public power in regional forums on wholesale power issues, provide technical expertise to consumer-owned utilities in the Columbia River Basin and preserve our members’ historical and legal first rights to the power generated from the federal hydro system.
Serving Consumer-Owned Utilities
PPC has provided the region’s consumer-owned utilities an economic and effective way to address wholesale electric power issues. Working through PPC, consumer-owned utilities can stay informed and present a unified front on critical industry issues. For four decades, PPC has represented the views of public power and influenced major legislation, such as the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act of 1980 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
PPC’s principal task has been to represent and defend the views of public power before BPA. We have participated actively in BPA rate proceedings and contract negotiations in an effort to keep wholesale power rates low and the terms as favorable as possible.
PPC also works extensively on transmission issues important to our members before BPA, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and other transmission organizations. PPC has responded to a diverse array of issues and continues to find ways to change with the times to carry out our mission on behalf of the Northwest’s consumer-owned utilities.
Formed in December 1966, PPC arose from the Rates and Economics Section of the Northwest Public Power Association. Since that time, PPC has enabled the region’s consumer-owned utilities to deal with wholesale electric power issues in an economic and effective fashion. Through PPC, consumer-owned utilities can speak with one regional voice on the critical issues facing public power.
For more information on the history of public power in the Northwest, visit the Public Power Chronicle page.