Organizations Involved in Northwest Electric Power Issues
American Public Power Association (APPA):
A nonprofit organization established in 1940, APPA is an advocate and service organization for the more than 2,000 publicly-owned utilities in the United States that serve over 40 million Americans. Services to members include lobbying before Congress and federal agencies, policy committees, conferences, publication of various periodicals and reports and product discounts. Offices and staff are located in Washington, D.C. APPA is governed by a 36-member, regionally representative board of directors.
Association of Public Agency Customers (APAC):
APAC is an unincorporated organization composed of certain industrial customers of BPA preference customer utilities, which engages in litigation to further its members’ interests.
A national, non-profit conservation organization founded in 1973 to increase the number of rivers protected under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and to prevent the construction of large new dams. Also focuses on dam removal, flood control and hydropower policy reform, endangered species and water quality and quantity.
Bonneville Environmental Foundation:
Begun as partnership with BPA, BEF is a charitable, nonprofit founded in 1998 to encourage and fund projects that develop and/or supply clean, “environmentally preferred” renewable power and to acquire, maintain, preserve, restore and/or sustain fish and wildlife habitat in the Pacific Northwest. BEF’s initial funds came mostly through a share of the premium collected by BPA for resources designated as generating environmentally preferred power. Funds are invested in new wind, solar, landfill gas and other projects that transform the energy mix, as well as habitat work such as watershed projects. BEF markets green power to public utilities, businesses, government agencies and individuals and also developed a “Green Tags” product.
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA):
BPA is the federal power marketing agency in the Northwest and the region’s major wholesaler of electricity. Created by Congress in 1937, BPA markets wholesale power to utilities in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana west of the continental divide, and small adjacent portions of California, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. It has contracts with about 150 utility, government and direct service industry customers. BPA’s principal divisions are its Power Business Line and Transmission Business Line. BPA markets the power from, but does not own, 31 federal projects in the Columbia Basin; it coordinates operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System and manages the Federal Columbia River Transmission System, which it does own. Though part of the Department of Energy, BPA is not funded by tax revenues; the agency recovers the cost of operations and maintenance mainly through its wholesale rates. BPA finances the bulk of salmon recovery efforts in the Northwest and helps support other public purposes such as renewable resource development, conservation and energy efficiency.
British Columbia Utilities Commission:
The BCUC is an independent regulatory agency of the province charged with ensuring that rates charged for energy by jurisdictional utilities (including the crown utility, BC Hydro) are fair, just and reasonable and that operations are safe and adequate. It approves construction of new facilities planned by utilities and their issuance of securities. BCUC also reviews, evaluates, and reports on energy-related matters referred to it by the provincial head of state.
Bureau of Reclamation:
Created in 1902 to construct irrigation projects with the proceeds of public land sales, the Bureau is one of two federal agencies that own and operate federal hydroelectric projects, including ten that are part of the Federal Columbia River Power System, output from which BPA markets. The Bureau, along with BPA and the Corps of Engineers, is one of the three “action agencies” charged with implementing terms of the biological opinions issued by the US Fish & Wildlife Service and NMFS under the Endangered Species Act. The Bureau’s regional office is in Boise; it has three area offices in Portland, Yakima and Boise and a fourth that operates and maintains the Grand Coulee Dam.
CoBank is a national cooperative bank serving industries across rural America. It provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. Its mission, as an integral member of the Farm Credit System, is to serve as a dependable provider of credit and other value-added financial services to agriculture and rural infrastructure businesses for the benefit of rural America.
Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife Authority:
A “consensus organization” chartered in 1987 whose membership consists of the four state and two federal fish and wildlife management entities and thirteen Indian tribes of the Columbia River Basin–the legally recognized managers of regional fish and wildlife resources. CBFWA objectives include coordination of fish and wildlife activity of mutual concern to members and facilitation of interagency and tribal involvement in the NW Power Planning Council’s Fish & Wildlife Program.
ColumbiaGrid is a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to improve reliability and efficient use of the transmission grid. It performs transmission planning, and facilitates the development of solutions related to the operation, use, and expansion of the interconnected Northwest transmission system.
Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission:
CRITFC is composed of four of the “Treaty Tribes” with reserved fishing rights under treaties signed in 1855: the Yakama, Umatilla, Warm Springs and Nez Perce. It works to restore salmon and to defend tribal fishing rights in the context of fish-related policy actions carried out by government agencies. In 1995, it published a tribal salmon restoration plan called Wy-kan-ush-mi Wa-kish-wit, or “Spirit of the Salmon.”
Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association:
A private, non-profit organization formed in 1990 after the filing of the first petitions to place Northwest salmon on the endangered species list. Based in Kennewick, WA, CSRIA represents irrigators and other water users who withdraw water from the Columbia-Snake river water system. It works on major water resource and allocation issue such as salmon recovery planning, Northwest Power Planning Council initiatives and state water management. CSRIA consists of over 100 mostly eastern Washington members including irrigators, public utilities, irrigation districts and municipalities; although it has a separate president, the 40 members of the Oregon Irrigators Association are also represented through CSRIA.
Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC):
CFC is a member-owned, nonprofit cooperative and major lender to electric cooperatives, including Rural Utilities Service (RUS) borrowers and non-RUS borrowers. Its operations are grounded in cooperative principles and values. CFC is governed by a democratically elected, twenty-three-member board of directors.
Cooperative Research Network (CRN):
CRN is the technology research arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), and it conducts collaborative research to accelerate technological innovation that can be applied by electric cooperatives worldwide.
Direct Service Industries (DSIs):
DSIs are industrial customers of BPA that buy their power directly from BPA rather than through a utility. DSIs used to be more numerous and made up a large portion of BPA’s load, but currently there are only two DSIs. These use less than 320 aMW of Federal power: Alcoa’s Intalco smelter (in Ferndale, WA) and Port Townsend Paper.
Edison Electric Institute (EEI):
EEI is the national trade organization that represents investor-owned utilities (IOUs). EEI provides public policy leadership, strategic business intelligence, and organizes industry conferences and forums.
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI):
EPRI was organized in 1973 by the nation’s utilities as a non-profit energy research consortium. Its efforts encompass a wide program of scientific research, technology development and product implementation.
Energy Information Administration:
Created in 1977, EIA is the “statistical agency” of the federal Department of Energy. It collects and publishes a large amount of data on energy types, including prices, forecasts and analyses.
Energy Northwest, formerly known as the Washington Public Power Supply System (Supply System), is a municipal corporation and joint operating agency of the State of Washington comprised of public utility districts and municipal utilities. Established in January 1957, Energy Northwest is authorized to acquire, construct, and operate plants and facilities for the generation or transmission of electric power. It operates the Packwood Lake Hydroelectric Project and the Columbia Generation Station, formerly known as Washington Nuclear Plant 2 (WNP-2), the region’s only operating nuclear power plant. It has also licensed two natural gas-fired combustion turbines in Grays Harbor County, Washington.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC):
An independent, self-financing agency within the U.S. Department of Energy that has jurisdiction over commercial interstate energy matters such as the transmission and sale of natural gas; transmission of oil by pipeline; and the transmission and wholesale sale of electricity, where it plays a substantial role in deregulation. FERC also licenses non-federal hydroelectric projects, administers accounting and financial reporting rules of its jurisdictional companies and licenses power marketers to charge market-based rates.
Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange:
Federated is a provider of property and casualty insurance for rural electric cooperatives in 42 states. Its primary goal is to offer its members affordable coverage over the long term.
Fish Passage Center:
The FPC, created by the NW Power Planning Council, provides current and historic data on salmon passage in the mainstem Snake and Columbia river basins to regional fish managers and hydro system operators. This includes data on river conditions, hatchery releases, smolt migration, and adult returns. The data is posted on a website.
Idaho Consumer-Owned Utilities Association:
An association of municipal and cooperative utilities in Idaho served by BPA. The Boise-based group represents its members in BPA rate cases and in political matters at the state and federal level.
Idaho Energy Authority (IDEA):
A non-profit, joint operating entity of 18 Idaho consumer-owned utilities that have a joint, 30-year transmission contract with BPA. IDEA also handles joint procurement of supplies and the provision of conservation services through BPA’s conservation and renewable discount.
Idaho Public Utilities Commission:
The regulator of investor-owned electric, gas, telecommunication and water utilities in Idaho. The three-member IPUC is charged with assuring adequate and reliable service and affixing just, reasonable and sufficient rates. The three commissioners are appointed by the governor and confirmed by senate to staggered, six-year terms.
Industrial Customers of Northwest Utilities (ICNU):
ICNU is a non-profit, voluntarily-funded trade group formed in 1981 and based in Portland. ICNU members purchase large amounts of power from the region’s public agencies and investor-owned utilities, rather than directly from BPA. ICNU represents its members’ interests in electric policy and rate proceedings before Northwest state public utility commissions, FERC, BPA, Congress and state legislatures.
Industrial Customers of Idaho Power:
A coalition of industrial customers of Idaho Power that participates in rate cases and policy development proceedings.
Large Public Power Council:
A nonprofit organization of the nation’s 24 largest consumer-owned utilities, including five Northwest members, all of them in Washington State. Together the members serve some 40 million people. There is no paid staff. The LPPC represents is members on national energy policy issues.
Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association (MECA):
Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association (MECA), based in Great Falls, is a service organization representing over two dozen electric cooperatives and another dozen telephone systems in Montana. The organization is active in state and national legislative issues, provides job training and safety services, and publishes a monthly magazine, Rural Montana. MECA was chartered in 1940.
Montana Large Customer Group:
A coalition formed in the 1980s consisting of about a dozen large industrial electric customers of Northwestern Energy (formerly Montana Power) that participates in rate cases and electric and natural gas restructuring matters. Members include cement plants, mines, wood product facilities and refineries.
Montana Public Service Commission:
A state agency that regulates private gas, electric, telephone, water and private sewer companies in Montana. The work is overseen by a five-member commission, whose members are elected from regional districts to four-year staggered terms. The MPSC’s role is to ensure private utilities in Montana provide adequate service at reasonable rates. It was originally formed in 1907 as a railroad commission.
National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS):
NMFS, also known as “NOAA Fisheries,” is a division of the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and has three goals: rebuild and maintain sustainable fisheries, promote the recovery of protected species and protect and maintain the health of coastal marine habitats. In this capacity, it is responsible for implementing the Endangered Species Act for marine fish. It reviews and rules on petitions for listing species as threatened or endangered and, once listed, consults with other federal agencies to devise and then implement “biological opinions” aimed at restoring listed species. NMFS Northwest regional office has five divisions: habitat conservation, protected resources, sustainable fisheries, hydropower and a science center. The Hydro Program, based in Portland, Oregon, is responsible for salmon passage and survival issues associated with the major mainstem hydroelectric projects of the Columbia River system.
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA):
NRECA, founded in 1942, is a private service association representing the national interests of more than 1,000 rural electric utility cooperatives throughout the United States and their consumers. Although most are distribution systems, approximately 60 are generation and transmission cooperatives. Located in Arlington, Virginia, NRECA lobbies Congress and federal agencies on various power issues, offers education and training programs, assistance with technology, insurance and employee benefits issues, financial services, technical advice and electrification assistance to developing countries.
North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC):
NERC is a non-profit industry organization which for over 30 years coordinated the operations and planning needed to sustain reliability. NAERO is composed of ten regional “reliability councils” across the nation, including the Western Electricity Coordinating Council. Its mission is to develop, promote and enforce standards for a reliable North American bulk electric system. Where NERC was a voluntary organization, NAERO is meant to have authority to enforce compliance with its standards. In 2001, NEARO announced its intent to become “the single organization in North America to develop both reliability standards and wholesale electric business practice standards through a fair, open, balanced and inclusive process.”
Northern Tier Transmission Group (NTTG):
NTTG is an unincorporated association of transmission providers and customers that are actively involved in the sale and purchase of transmission services in the Northwest and Mountain States. It coordinates individual transmission systems operations, products, business practices, and planning of their high-voltage transmission network.
Northwest Energy Coalition (NWEC):
An alliance of 90-plus Northwest environmental, civic and human service organizations, utilities and businesses. NWEC promotes energy conservation and renewable energy resources, consumer and low-income protection and fish and wildlife restoration on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (Alliance):
Formed in October 1996, the Alliance is a non-profit consortium of utilities, governments, public-interest groups, and efficiency industry representatives dedicated to making energy-efficient services available and affordable to Northwest consumers. The Alliance’s main focus is on market transformation strategies.
Northwest Energy Management Services (NEMS):
NEMS is a nonprofit organization that provides analytical and support services to NRU members for power supply decisions through NESC and NIES.
Northwest Energy Supply Cooperative (NESC):
NESC is a cooperative formed with the mission of allowing NRU’s cooperative members to make collective purchases of electric power. It procures resources jointly with NIES.
Northwest Gas Association:
The trade organization of the Pacific Northwest natural gas industry, including gas utilities and pipelines. NGA represents the industry in regional forums, monitors trends and issues, coordinates and facilitates cooperative programs, and maintains liaison between the natural gas industry and public policymakers.
Northwest Hydroelectric Association:
NWHA members include independent developers and producers, public and private utilities, vendors, consultants and others in the hydroelectric business in the Northwest. It is aimed at providing a regional voice for the industry at both the state and federal level, before BPA and the NW Power Planning Council. It sponsors trade shows, seminars, has an insurance program and publishes a newsletter.
Northwest Industrial Gas Users (NWIGU):
A non-profit trade association of approximately three dozen large Northwest gas end users, including both industries such as food processing, pulp and paper, aluminum, chemicals and aerospace, and owners of gas-fired electric generating plants. NWIGU, based in Lake Oswego, OR, provides an information service to its members and participates in regulatory matters at both the federal and state level.
Northwest Intergovernmental Energy Supply (NIES):
NIES is an intergovernmental corporation formed with the mission of allowing NRU’s municipal and PUD members to make collective purchases of electric power. It procures resources jointly with NESC.
Northwest Irrigation Utilities, Inc (NIU):
Formed in 1985 as a non-profit corporation, Portland-based NIU is governed by a board of directors and officers and employs three staff members in Portland, Oregon. NIU is a trade association of rural electric utilities that rely on BPA as their primary or exclusive provider of power and transmission services. NIU members have significant agriculturally-based electrical loads. The 20 members are located in Idaho, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, Northern California, and Nevada.
Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NWPCC):
The NWPCC is an intergovernmental agency tasked with creating long-term plans for the Northwest’s power system and developing a fish and wildlife program for the Columbia River Basin. The NWPCC was created by the Northwest Power Act in 1980.
Northwest Power Planning Council (Council):
The Northwest Power Planning Council was created in 1981 by the Northwest Power Act of 1980. The Council is a regional planning agency composed of eight members, two each from the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Members are appointed by state governors and confirmed by state legislatures. The Council’s primary responsibilities are to: 1) develop a program to “protect, mitigate and enhance” fish and wildlife damaged by hydroelectric development in the Columbia River Basin; 2) develop a 20-year regional conservation and electric power plan; and 3) provide for broad public participation in its planning processes. The Council is not a part of BPA nor a federal agency, but an interstate compact agency funded by BPA rates.
Northwest Power Pool (NWPP):
The Northwest Power Pool, formed in 1942 to help coordinate wartime production, is an association of generating utilities serving the Northwest, British Columbia and Alberta. Members include BPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation and the major public and investor-owned utilities with generating resources. The Pool serves as a forum in the industry for reliability and operational adequacy issues in the Western Interconnection and coordinates the region’s load control areas. Its activities are determined by three committees. One helps coordinate operations among generation-owning members, a second deals with transmission planning and the third with administration of the Pacific Northwest Coordination Agreement of 1964. It is different from the Western Electricity Coordinating Council in part because its responsibilities go beyond transmission.
Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA):
Founded in 1940 and incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1947, NWPPA represents over 200 public utilities in the western states and Canada. NWPPA conducts educational, communications and service activities. Located in Vancouver, Washington, NWPPA is governed by a board of trustees; services include training and education, surveys, communications, federal legislative coordination, data and networking opportunities and products and services for the utility industry. NWPPA also publishes the Northwest Electric Utility Directory.
Northwest Requirements Utilities (NRU):
NRU is an informal association formed in 1995 to represent the interests of consumer-owned electric utilities that place all or much of their loads on the BPA. The organization consists of both utilities that rely on NRU for representation services on a consulting fee basis, and the members of Northwest Irrigation Utilities. NRU represents the interests of its members on issues associated with BPA, primarily the supply of wholesale power from the federal-based system and the transmission of power over the BPA network and third-party facilities. NRU is actively engaged in all BPA forums to address issues of smaller utilities and also participates in other regional organizations such as the Public Power Council and Northwest Power Planning Council. NRU has no formal governance structure. The organization provides information and support services to the membership as well as general representation. It has about four dozen members in six states–Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and California.
RiverPartners is a nonprofit corporation that represents the interests of electric utilities, ports, businesses, and other organizations on environmental issues related to the Columbia and Snake rivers.
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy:
A division of the U.S. Department of Energy that develops and deploys efficient and clean energy technologies.
Oregon Municipal Electric Utilities:
Created in 1977, OMEU is a nonprofit association of 11 municipal utilities. The organization represents members before Congress, the state legislature and other state agencies. It participates in selected issues before Bonneville and the Northwest Power Planning Council.
Oregon People’s Utility District Association (OPUDA):
OPUDA, formed in 1982 and headed by an executive director in Salem, Oregon, is devoted to serving its PUD members and others interested in consumer ownership of their utility. OPUDA works to preserve and promote public preference, to provide leadership in the legislative arena on matters of mutual concern and for member development through an educational program.
Oregon Public Utilities Commission:
Regulates privately-owned Oregon electric, natural gas, telephone and water utilities to assure that customers receive safe, reliable services at reasonable rates. Transportation regulation was transferred to another agency in 1995. Members of the three-member commission are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate to staggered, four-year terms.
Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council:
EFSC, created in 1975, is responsible for making sure that large energy facilities in Oregon are built, located and operated in ways that protect public health and the environment. EFSC certifications are binding on state and local jurisdictions. It monitors construction and operation of such facilities.
Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association (ORECA):
ORECA represents the common interests of Oregon’s electric cooperatives, which serve more than 230,000 customers. With an office and staff in Salem, Oregon, ORECA represents the legislative and regulatory interests of its members. Its primary focus is member representation before the Oregon Congressional delegation, the Oregon legislature and state and federal agencies.
Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative (PNGC) Power:
Portland-based PNGC Power is a non-profit generation and transmission cooperative formed in 1996 that serves as an electric power manager and aggregator for its 15 electric cooperative members and other electric utility clients. It is a FERC-licensed power marketer that manages power supply, transmission and resources. It also provides communication, cost-of-service analysis, rates and load forecasts and other services to its members, as well as representing them on power supply, transmission, environmental and associated policy issues before BPA, the Northwest Power Planning Council, Congress, and state legislatures and regulatory bodies. PNGC also signed a contract for BPA’s Slice product, obtaining resources that it resells to members.
Pacific Northwest Utilities Conference Committee (PNUCC):
PNUCC represents the three constituencies in the Northwest energy community: public utilities, investor-owned utilities and direct service industries. It is founded on the premise that there is greater strength in policy development based on strong consensus among the groups, but PNUCC also tries to provide a forum where differences can be aired even if there is no consensus. At PNUCC, members share information and views on a variety of power and environmental issues that impact resource stability and future energy development. It draws on its member and staff’s expertise in areas of conflict avoidance and resolution, policy development and technical analysis. PNUCC publishes the annual Northwest Regional Forecast.
Peak Reliability was incorporated in 2014 to act as the WECC Reliability Coordinator and is responsible for ensuring reliability in the Western Interconnection by monitoring the regional bulk electric system, coordinating regional planning and modeling, and ensuring data sharing where necessary for reliable system operations.
Power Resources Cooperative (PRC):
PRC manages electric power generating and transmission resources for 13 rural electric distribution cooperatives located in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. PRC owns a 53 MW share of the Boardman Coal Plant in Boardman, Oregon; a 50 MW capacity share of the Third AC Intertie that connects Oregon and California; and the Coffin Butte Resource Project, a 2.5 MW landfill-gas electric generating plant located near Corvallis, Oregon. Formed in 1975 and known as Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative until 1996, PRC is completely separate from the new cooperative known as Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative (PNGC) Power, although, since PRC has no staff, it contracts for management services with PNGC Power.
Pierce County Cooperative Power Association:
The association represents cooperatives, municipals and mutuals in Pierce County, Washington that purchase power from BPA. The association provides a forum for joint action on matters of mutual interest and for information-sharing and coordinated problem-solving. It works on BPA contract issues through its membership in the Washington Public Agency Group and on legislative issues through its affiliation with the Washington Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Public Generating Pool (PGP):
PGP is an unincorporated association of five municipal and public utilities in Washington that own substantial generating facilities and are preference customers of BPA. Members interact with BPA and other regional organizations on wholesale rates, transmission, legislative, and other matters. Members coordinate the transmission of surplus energy from one to another and also work jointly in planning, scheduling, storage, load factoring, and allocation of energy, capacity, and reserves.
Public Power Council (PPC):
Formed in 1966, Portland-based PPC represents and advocates the common legal and technical interests of the Northwest’s consumer-owned utilities. PPC works to ensure access to reliable, low cost and environmentally-sound power supplies. It interacts with BPA, the Northwest Power Planning Council, and other regional and national groups on subjects including BPA rate proceedings, revenue requirement and power marketing policies, public preference issues, power supply planning, conservation, legislative concerns, fish and wildlife and related issues. Its objective is to enhance the competitiveness of consumer-owned utilities and their ability to serve their communities.
Renewable Northwest Project (RNP):
A coalition of public-interest groups and energy companies formed in 1994 to promote renewable energy development in the Northwest. RNP activities include working with utilities, BPA, customer groups and elected officials; and participating in regulatory proceedings.
The name of the regional transmission organization (RTO) proposed for the Northwest to meet FERC’s requirements for regional RTOs, such as tariff design, information access, market monitoring, planning and others (Chapter 8). RTO West is envisioned as a nonprofit corporation composed of BPA, all the Northwest IOUs and two Nevada IOUs owned by Sierra Pacific Resources. Other entities, such as government agencies, may also join. It will operate, but not own, regional transmission assets through transmission operating agreements among its members. FERC has given an OK allowing some of the IOU members to transfer their transmission assets to a for-profit independent transmission company to be called TransConnect, which will join RTO West. Regional operations are to be consolidated into a single load control area, with RTO West providing access to all facilities under its control through a tariff filed with FERC. RTO West is slated to take over the grid in 2004 or 2005.
Ruralite Services is a publisher which, among other services, produces Ruralite magazine. The magazine was created in order to provide the information that utility customers need to make sound decisions about their local utility.
Snake River Power Association:
A nonprofit association of six southern Idaho cooperatives along the Snake River formed in the 1960s to deal with the lack of adequate service offered by PacifiCorp. The co-ops financed a transmission line to serve some of its members and leased it to BPA which operates it and will own it after the debt is paid.
Southeastern Power Administration (SEPA):
SEPA is a Power Marketing Administration within the U.S. Department of Energy. It serves the southeastern part of the U.S., and sells power from 23 federal hydroelectric projects at cost to utilities and government agencies in the region. In selling power, it gives preference to public agencies and cooperatives. Unlike BPA and WAPA, it does not operate a transmission system, but instead contracts with utilities to provide transmission of its power.
Southwestern Power Administration (SWPA):
SWPA is a Power Marketing Administration within the U.S. Department of Energy. It serves the state of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas, and sells power from 24 federal hydroelectric projects at cost to utilities and government agencies in the region. In selling power, it gives preference to public agencies and cooperatives. SWPA also owns and operates a transmission system which interconnects some of the dams with load centers.
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA):
TVA is an independent corporation owned by the federal government. It was created as part of the New Deal as a means of economic development in the Tennessee Valley region, providing electricity, flood control, navigation, and fertilizer manufacturing. TVA provides power at no profit to electric cooperatives and municipal utilities in the region, as well as directly-connected industrial customers and others. It owns and operates nuclear power plants, hydropower projects, coal-fired power plants, and natural gas-fired power plants. TVA also owns and operates a large transmission system.
US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE):
The Army Corps designs and builds civil works such as water resources as well as military construction. It owns and operates 21 of the 31 federal hydroelectric projects of the Federal Columbia River Power System, output from which BPA markets. The Army Corps, along with BPA and the Bureau of Reclamation, is one of three “action agencies” charged with implementing terms of the biological opinions issued by the US Fish & Wildlife Service and NMFS under the Endangered Species Act. The Army Corps’ Northwestern Division has three offices in the Northwest: Seattle, Portland and Walla Walla. The Fish Management Division is run out of the Portland office. It operates the principal juvenile fish transportation program, moving up to 20 million fish per year by barge and truck from three lower Snake River dam sites.
Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS):
UAMPS is a governmental agency that provides comprehensive wholesale electric energy, on a nonprofit basis, to community-owned power systems throughout the Intermountain West. The UAMPS membership represents 45 Members in Utah, Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Wyoming. UAMPS’ purposes include the planning, financing, development, acquisition, construction, operation and maintenance of various projects for the generation, supply, transmission and management of electric energy for the benefit of the Members.
Washington Public Utility Districts’ Association (WPUDA):
Founded in 1936, the Seattle-based Washington PUD Association serves PUDs operating electric, sewer and water utility systems in Washington. The association represents PUDs in state, regional, and national legislative and policy processes; compiles and distributes information about PUDs and policy issues to members and the public; offers training and development programs for utility leaders; and provides opportunities for PUD leaders and staff to meet, share information, and plan cooperative activities. The organization publishes a newsletter that covers utility activities as well as regional and national issues.
Washington Rural Electric Cooperative Association (WRECA):
Organized in 1942, Olympia-based WRECA exists to provide an effective and coordinated voice for Washington electric cooperatives. Association services include legislative research and information, and representation before the Washington legislature and state agencies. Time is also spent representing members before BPA, the NW Power Planning Council and other regional and national government agencies.
Washington State/Office of Trade & Economic Development/Energy Policy Group:
The Energy Policy Group provides leadership, information, analysis and support for energy policy decision-making.
Washington State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council:
EFSEC provides a “one-stop” siting process for major energy facilities in the state by coordinating all of the evaluation and licensing steps. If a project is approved, EFSEC specifies the conditions of construction and operation; issues permits in lieu of any other individual state or local agency authority; and manages an environmental and safety oversight program of facility and site operations.
Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission:
The WUTC regulates the rates, services and practices of privately-owned utilities such as gas distribution, electric and telephone companies in Washington. The board is supported by a large staff of auditors, economists, engineers, and other specialists. The three members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate to six-year terms.
Western Area Power Administration (WAPA):
WAPA is a Power Marketing Administration within the U.S. Department of Energy. It serves 15 western and central states, and sells power at cost from 56 federal (ACOE & BOR) hydroelectric projects and one coal plant. In selling power, it gives preference to public agencies and cooperatives. It also operates a large transmission system divided into four Balancing Authority Areas.
Western Electric Coordinating Council (WECC):
WECC is one of eight Regional Entities with delegated legal authority from NERC and FERC to monitor compliance with, enforce, and develop regional reliability standards.
Western Energy Institute:
Portland-based WEI (formerly the Northwest Electric Light & Power Association, or NELPA) members include public and private utilities in multiple Western states and Canadian provinces. Members also include gas distribution and transmission companies, and a large number of associate, affiliate and service members (such as suppliers and consultants). The institute conducts educational meetings, carries out studies and collects and distributes data on electric power issues.
Western Interstate Energy Board:
An organization of 12 western states and three western Canadian provinces. The governor of each state appoints a member to the board. The legal basis of the board is the Western Interstate Nuclear Compact. An economic development organization, WIEB is the energy arm of the Western Governors’ Association. Its Committee on Regional Electric Power Cooperation, which consists of the public utility commissions, energy agencies and facility siting agencies in the western states and Canadian provinces in the western electricity grid, works to improve the efficiency of the western electric power system.
Western Montana Generating and Transmission Cooperative, Inc. (WMG&T):
Incorporated in 1980, WMG&T is the nation’s first international G&T. It provides power planning representation for its seven members–five rural cooperatives, one tribal utility and Prairie Power in Alberta. Members serve over 70,000 consumers. WMG&T offers power and transmission contract negotiation and administration, policy analysis and lobbying services to its members and consulting services to publicly-owned utilities. Most members purchase the majority of their requirements from BPA except Prairie, whose nine rural cooperative members buy from a variety of sources.
Western Public Agency Group (WPAG):
Formed in 1980, the Western Public Agency Group is an association of Washington and Oregon public utilities that is involved with Bonneville rate proceedings, litigation and policy review issues.
Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC):
WECC (formerly Western Systems Coordination Council) consists of several transmission organizations that merged in 2001. It is the largest of the 10 regional electric reliability councils that comprise the North American Electric Reliability Council (NAERC). WECC's mission is to maintain a reliable electric power system that will support efficient and competitive power markets and to assure open access. Membership is open to any entity engaged or interested in grid reliability or access, including electric end-users, regulators, transmission providers, generators, power marketers and state energy facility siting agencies. It began with a membership base of over 150. WECC's territory encompasses transmission facilities throughout the Western Interconnection, covering nearly 2 million square miles across all or part of 14 Western states, two Canadian provinces and parts of Mexico, and is home to some 65 million people.
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