About BPA A History Of Service
To MAIN PAGE About BPA NW Hydro The Columbia River For Kids of all Ages Galleries 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.
Historical Scenes-construction
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.
President Roosevelt
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Bonneville Project Act, creating BPA

NEXT: Balancing River Uses

About BPA 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 BPA logo