[Letter from BPA Administrator Stephen Wright to Council Chair Bruce Measure]
Dear Chairman Measure:
Thirty years after the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (Council) met for the first time, I am struck by the impact the Council has had. The six power plans the Council has produced over the years have set the standard for least-cost power planning. Energy efficiency is the accepted foundation of utility resource planning. By the end of 2011, the Northwest will likely have 6,000 megawatts of wind energy in operation – nine years ahead of the schedule the Council predicted in its Fifth Power Plan. You and your staff have provided critical support as Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and the region's utilities worked together to continue to provide an adequate, reliable, and economic power supply to the Northwest.
In awarding the Council its Conservation Eagle award in July 2011, the Northwest Energy Coalition described the 2010 Sixth Power Plan as "the most far-sighted, clean energy-based power plan in regional history." On the heels of this testimonial, in the fall of 2011, the Council reported that annual savings from the region’s energy efficiency improvements were the highest achieved in 30 years. The region's annual energy efficiency achievements have exceeded the targets in the Council's power plan every year since 2005. Savings through 2010 total more than 4,600 average megawatts – or more than enough energy for four cities the size of Seattle – at an average cost of less than two cents per kilowatt-hour.
Thirty years later, the region has made great progress with fish and wildlife restoration. The Council has partnered with BPA and other Federal, state, local, and tribal governments on a Fish and Wildlife Program that is scientifically sound and broadly supported in the region. You continue to seek accountability and effectiveness through effective research and monitoring by defining and tracking high level indicators of fish health and ecosystem function. In 2011, the Council reviewed and recommended 143 projects for BPA funding that will ultimately deliver scientific knowledge about fish and wildlife throughout the Columbia River Basin.
In 2012, BPA celebrates its 75th Anniversary of supplying clean, reliable, and economical energy to the region. For the last 30 years the Council has been an important part of our story. We look forward to celebrating together and continuing our collaboration for many years to come.
Stephen J. Wright
Administrator and Chief Executive Officer