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Technology Innovation

BPA partners with electric utilities, nonprofits, research organizations, technology developers and universities across North America and even internationally in research that is aligned with the BPA Strategic Plan and has the potential to improve operations, solve challenges, increase efficiencies and avoid costs. 

Since 2005, BPA's Technology Innovation Office has implemented a disciplined research management approach that has led to an unprecedented level of success, including the build out of the largest synchrophasor network in North America; the helical connector shunt innovation, a BPA-engineered technology that can up-rate and extend the life of aging transmission lines; the support of a pilot program that boosted the adoption of ductless heat pumps in the region; and an industry-leading seismic mitigation program.

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, and describe the specific BPA-related factors driving technology needs and identify the areas offering the greatest potential.

FY 2019 Funding Opportunity Coming Soon

WATCH THIS SPACE. Information on BPA’s fiscal year 2019 Technology Innovation Funding Opportunity will be coming in Spring 2018.  

Resources for submitting a proposal can be found here:​

Questions should be directed to the point of contact identified in the announcement.

Technology Roadmaps
BPA’s research agenda is guided by a process that identifies the agency’s key business opportunities and challenges, along with barriers standing in the way of responding to them, and then pinpoints technologies with the potential to overcome the barriers. This process includes the development of technology roadmaps, which provide a framework to plan and coordinate technology developments so the agency can focus its research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) investments in areas that deliver the most value to the agency and its stakeholders.
​BPA's R&D Portfolio

BPA's Technology Innovation program includes an annual cycle of funding based on BPA's Strategic Plan and complementary power and transmission strategic plans. Technology Innovation's R&D Portfolio objectives match the Strategic Plan goals of strengthening financial health; modernizing assets and operations; supporting competitive power products and services; and meeting Transmission customer needs efficiently and reliably.​ 

During February’s annual Winter Session, the research agenda is established for the coming year’s R&D portfolio. The agenda is informed by internal and external subject matter experts. It is approved by BPA executives based on recommendations of the Technology Innovation Council.

In April, a funding opportunity announcement is posted for new projects. After technical reviews of the proposals, the TI Council recommends projects for inclusion in the following fiscal year’s portfolio.

The projects, which span across various technologies, time horizons, risk/reward profiles, cost concerns and other needs, are expected to produce direct financial benefits to BPA, and through BPA, deliver value to the Northwest electric power system.