One key to BPA’s success is making a firm connection with the business and technology challenges facing the utility industry. Technology roadmaps capture the logic and business framework for research and development. The roadmaps describe the specific BPA-related factors driving technology needs and identify the areas offering the greatest potential. A group of BPA and utility executives and experts known as the Technology Confirmation and Innovation (TCI) Council guide the development of the research portfolio.
BPA's Technology Innovation initiative has an annual cycle of portfolio funding based on strategic needs identified in the agency’s technology roadmaps and yearly focus areas. In February, all projects in the portfolio are reviewed by the TCI Council, and then in March a funding opportunity announcement is posted for new projects. The announcement is open March to May. Technical reviews of the proposals occur in May. In late June, the TCI Council selects the projects for inclusion in the following fiscal year’s portfolio. The projects in Technology Innovation’s portfolio span across various technologies, time horizons, risk/reward profiles, cost concerns, and other needs. The portfolio projects are expected to produce direct financial benefits to BPA, and through BPA, deliver value to the Pacific Northwest electric system.