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The Bonneville Power Administration was created by the Bonneville Project Act of 1937. Through a regionwide, interconnecting transmission system, it markets electric power and energy from federal hydroelectric projects in the Pacific Northwest constructed and operated by both Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. BPA's service area includes Oregon, Washington, Idaho, western Montana, and small parts of Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, California, and eastern Montana.

BPA sells wholesale power to public and private utilities, as well as to some large industries. Bonneville also sells or exchanges power through inter-regional connections with utilities in California and Canada.

The utilities and federal agencies in the Pacific Northwest have historically coordinated system operations and planning under terms of the Northwest Coordination Agreement and the Canadian Treaty. Another act passed December 5, 1980 the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act provides the format and criteria for planning and operating hydropower resources for utilities and federal agencies. This same act also significantly expanded BPA's conservation role to include preservation and enhancement of anadromous fish runs.

BPA has the authority, in lieu of appropriations, to use its revenues and sell revenue bonds to the U.S. Treasury to finance its programs (by 16 U.S.C. 838 enacted in 1974). In 1996 BPA and Reclamation entered into an agreement to allow BPA to use this authority to fund operations and maintenance of Reclamation's power facilities. This removed the need for Reclamation to go through the federal appropriations process to fund necessary maintenance and daily operations. BPA is a non-profit entity, and its programs are funded by Northwest ratepayers.

For more information about the Bonneville Power Administration, visit their home page at http://www.bpa.gov.

Revised April 06, 2006 .Hydropower Site Map .Help