|A History Of Service|
Franklin Roosevelt delivered
a speech in Portland during the 1932 presidential campaign.
He promised that the next great federal hydroelectric project
would be built
on the Columbia River
to prevent extortion against the public by the giant electric utility
holding companies then dominant in the region.
He also pledged widespread use of electric power through electrification
of rural areas.
The U.S. Government built Bonneville and Grand Coulee Dams in the 1930s and 1940s. Power from these massive projects strengthened the Northwest economy and brought electricity to rural areas that were not served by existing utilities.
Scenes from the construction of the dams
Congress created BPA in 1937 to deliver and sell the power from Bonneville Dam. In the next three decades, Congress authorized BPA to sell and deliver power from more federal dams on the Columbia and its tributaries.
Today BPA markets power from 31 federal dams and one nuclear plant. Altogether, about 45 percent of the power consumed in the Pacific Northwest comes from BPA.
|NEXT: Balancing River Uses|
|Introduction | What Is BPA? | A History Of Service | Balancing River Uses | Power Revenues Pay BPA Costs | Enhancing A Renewable System | Fish and Wildlife Protection | Selling The Northwest's Federal Power | Transmission Lines Connect The Dots | The Future Is Yours | Back to mainpage|