The Value of the Federal Columbia River Power System

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The Federal Columbia River Power System is one of the largest multiple-use river systems in the world. The Bonneville Power Administration markets the electricity, and it owns and operates more than three-fourths of the high-voltage transmission grid in the Pacific Northwest.

The federal system has been, and continues to be, the foundation of the Northwest’s economy, providing:

  • Steady repayment of millions of dollars to the Treasury for construction of the dams and transmissions system, on time and at market-rate interest; the agency is fully self-funded
  • Carbon and emission-free power of immense capability and flexibility; hydropower is the region’s largest resource, providing nearly half its energy in a year with average rainfall
  • Highly reliable and clean electricity generation that helps ensure the health, safety, and security of Northwest residents, as well as providing power for both modern and traditional industries vital to the nation, as a whole
  • Investments in energy efficiency, the region’s least-cost energy resource, which have contributed to the Northwest having some of the lowest electricity rates in the nation
  • Help in integrating renewable resources in the region, further reducing our carbon footprint