Most of our energy is provided by The Bonneville Power Administration, a federal nonprofit agency based in the Pacific Northwest. Although BPA is part of the U.S. Department of Energy, it is self-funding and covers its costs by selling its products and services. BPA markets wholesale electrical power from 31 federal hydro projects in the Columbia River Basin, one nonfederal nuclear plant, and several other small nonfederal power plants. The dams are operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation. About one-third of the electric power used in the Northwest comes from BPA.

BPA also operates and maintains about three-fourths of the high-voltage transmission in its service territory. BPA’s service territory includes Idaho, Oregon, Washington, western Montana and small parts of eastern Montana, California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

As part of its responsibilities, BPA promotes energy efficiency, renewable resources and new technologies. The agency also funds regional efforts to protect and rebuild fish and wildlife populations affected by hydroelectric power development in the Columbia River Basin.

We feel it is important for our customers to understand BPA’s values, mission, and vision as it relates to the delivery of energy to serve our customers.

BPA’s Mission

The Bonneville Power Administration’s mission as a public service organization is to create and deliver the best value for our customers and constituents as we act in concert with others to assure the Pacific Northwest:

An adequate, efficient, economical and reliable power supply; a transmission system that is adequate to the task of integrating and transmitting power from federal and non-federal generating units, providing service to BPA’s customers, providing interregional interconnections, and maintaining electrical reliability and stability; and Mitigation of the Federal Columbia River Power System’s impacts on fish and wildlife.

BPA is committed to cost-based rates, and public and regional preference in its marketing of power. BPA will set its rates as low as possible consistent with sound business principles and the full recovery of all of its costs, including timely repayment of the federal investment in the system.

BPA’s Vision

BPA will be an engine of the Northwest’s economic prosperity and environmental sustainability. BPA’s actions advance a Northwest power system that is a national leader in providing:

  • High reliability
  • Low rates consistent with sound business principles
  • responsible environmental stewardship
  • Accountability to the region
Logo courtesy of BPA
Logo courtesy of BPA

BPA’s Stated Core Values

Trustworthy Stewardship

As stewards of the FCRPS, we are entrusted with the responsibility to manage resources of great value for the benefit of others. We are trusted when others believe in and are willing to rely upon our integrity and ability. To be worthy of trust we must:

  • Consistently adhere to the highest ethical and professional standards
  • Obtain the greatest value from the FCRPS for the people of the region
  • Collaborate with those we serve as we make our decisions
  • Communicate clearly, forthrightly and fully
  • Hold ourselves accountable for performance on our commitments by aligning our words and actions

Collaborative Relationships

Trustworthiness grows out of a collaborative approach to relationships. Internally we must collaborate across organizational lines to maximize the value we bring to the region. Externally we work with many stakeholders who have conflicting needs and interests. Through collaboration we discover and implement the best possible long-term solutions. This approach of creating together requires:

  • Taking time to listen and understand each others viewpoints, issues, and concerns
  • Searching respectfully for mutually beneficial solutions
  • Sharing and explaining decisions in a timely fashion

Operational Excellence

Operational excellence is a cornerstone of delivering on the four pillars of our strategic objectives (system reliability, low rates, environmental stewardship and regional accountability) and will place us among the best electric utilities in the nation. Operational excellence requires:

  • Continual review and improvement of standardized systems, processes and controls
  • Measurement of our accomplishments against clearly-defined and bench marked performance standards
  • Investment in our people
  • Focus on ease of doing business with customers and with each other

BPA Power Products Purchased by Lewis PUD

Within BPA’s Tiered Rates construct Lewis County became entitled about 1.6% of BPA’s Tier 1, cost based system. Of this 1.6% total amount, about 0.6% comes to the District each hour in a flat amount (each month is a bit different based on need) and the other 1% is a bit trickier to manage as it is a percentage share of the output of the FCRPS, and it changes each hour, with volumes based on inflows from Canada, forebay requirements at each dam, flows to maintain fish as required in the Biological Opinion, as well as needs for flood control, irrigation, transportation, etc. Thus we have a variable power supply each hour, in both wind and BPA Slice, as well as a variable load to serve, based on weather and other factors. In order to manage this hourly balancing of resources and loads, we have contracts with The Energy Authority, with headquarters in Jacksonville Florida and a regional office in Bellevue.

During the Tiered Rate discussion and within the contract Regional Dialogue (RD) discussions we receive a Contract High Water Mark – a maximum amount of average energy each year, that can be adjusted downward each contract year if our forecasted loads for the next contract year that runs Oct-Sept shows what our loads look to be less than those loads that established our High Water Mark during the RD process.

Hydro: Power to Make the American Dream Come True (1939) [Restored Version]

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