This report is also called the 1986 Northwest Power Plan, or 2nd Power Plan.
See our current power plan page for the most current plan, and history of previous plans.
In December 1980, the U.S. Congress passed the Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act — Public Law 96-501 (referred to in this document as the Northwest Power Act or the Act). The Act made sweeping changes affecting the region’s electrical power system. Among the most important, it authorized the Northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington to enter into an interstate compact for the purpose of long-range planning and protection of some specific shared resources. As a result of the Act, each of those four states passed enabling legislation to create the Northwest Power Planning Council in April of 1981. The states’ governors each appointed two members to the Council.
The Act required the Council to develop and adopt both a 20-year electrical power plan for the region and a program to protect, mitigate and enhance the fish and wildlife affected by hydroelectric development in the Columbia River Basin. The Act also instructed the Council to conduct these activities with broad-based public involvement.
The Council adopted the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program in November 1982 and subsequently adopted an amended version in October 1984. The Council adopted its first Northwest Conservation and Electric Power Plan (the Northwest Power Plan or the plan) in April 1983. This document, the 1986 Northwest Conservation and Electric Power Plan, is the second 20-year power plan produced by the Council with extensive public involvement. It was adopted in January 1986 in compliance with the Northwest Power Act’s directive that the plan be reviewed and changed if necessary at a minimum of every five years.
This plan is more than an amended version of the first plan. Because of a number of significant and rapid changes in the Northwest electrical power picture and because of refinements in information availability and processing, the Council conducted a complete review of the power plan. This is essentially a new 20-year power plan and supersedes the 1983 Power Plan. However, the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program, as amended, is incorporated as a part of this 1986 plan.
Unlike the 1983 plan, which set up a two-year planning cycle, the Council expects this 1986 plan to be in effect for a substantial period. The Council will report on the status of the regional economy and electrical needs every six months and will regularly monitor developments that affect resource availability. Sections of this plan will then be updated as needed.