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This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Bonneville Power Administration. On August 20, 1937, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Bonneville Project Act to deliver the massive benefits of Columbia River hydropower — clean, inexpensive electricity — to citizens of the Pacific Northwest.

It was a revolutionary and compassionate idea — to bring down the barriers between the rural poor and dreams of a better life by providing power at the cost of production, rather than for profit.

Since then, much has changed. The Northwest economy has expanded a thousandfold. People use electricity to power gadgets that no one would have dreamed of back in the '30s. What hasn't changed is the source of our power — the mighty waters of the Columbia — and our commitment to the public good.

Today, BPA aspires to continue bringing down the barriers that separate economic success from environmental health in the 21st century.

80th anniversary exhibit