|Transmission Grid Connects the Dots|
BPA owns and operates about three-quarters of the region's high-voltage electric grid.
Its 15,000 miles of power lines carry power from the dams and other power plants to utility customers.
Utilities often rely on it instead of building their own power lines, minimizing the number of power lines on the landscape. BPA transmits power at the same price all over the Northwest, which is important to the economies of rural areas. BPA's grid is technically advanced and highly reliable.
BPA also has transmission links to the north (Canada), south (California) and east (eastern Montana). The largest is the Pacific Intertie, which carries power between the Northwest and California. Utilities up and down the West Coast use BPA's high-voltage grid to help deliver electricity to their customers.
BPA has long given other utilities access to its transmission grid, which is a key to utility deregulation. BPA is currently participating with other Northwest transmission owning utilities to develop a regional transmission organization (RTO West) which would act as an independent system operator throughout the region. BPA and other participating utilities would retain ownership of their transmission facilities, but RTO West would provide "one stop shopping" for transmission access in the Northwest. The utilities plan to file a detailed proposal with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in December, 2001. Upon FERC approval, the utilities would move forward with a goal of RTO start-up in late 2003.
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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|