What Is BPA?
A Federal Agency With A Northwest Focus
BPA was created by an Act of Congress in 1937, with the original purpose of selling the power generated by the Bonneville Dam. Today, BPA supplies roughly half of the electricity used in the Northwest. The power comes primarily from 31 federal dams, and is the result of international development of the Columbia River for multiple purposes.
Northwest utilities and a few large industries buy BPA power; utilities resell it to homes, businesses, and other consumers. BPA delivers this electricity at wholesale over a grid of high voltage power lines that tie the region together. Utilities also use BPA's grid to transmit power of their own.
As a public agency, BPA is responsible to the public values of both the Northwest and the nation. As a self-supporting business, BPA's sales must cover its costs.
Click to see a map of the BPA Service Area (file size- 88k)
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|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|