When the Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS), also known as “Whoops,” defaulted on over $2 billion in bonds — one of the biggest municipal bond defaults in history — it birthed the 1980 Northwest Power Act, part of which was creation of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.
The Council’s overall mission is preserving the benefits of the Columbia River system for future generations. It comprises four states — Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana — each of which has two members on the board.
Every five years the Council develops a 20-year regional energy conservation and electric power plan and a program to protect and enhance fish and wildlife on the Columbia River and its tributaries. The Council sets energy efficiency targets which the Bonneville Power Administration is required to meet, and serves as a clearinghouse for power and fish and wildlife research and analysis. Public and private energy utilities look closely at the NWPCC when developing their own plans.
What will the region’s energy future look like? Have we wrung everything we can out of energy efficiency? How are wind and solar figuring into the energy mix? How will we meet energy demand, with the electrification of automobiles and buildings? What challenges exist to the preservation of salmon runs, and other fish and wildlife? How are tribal concerns taken into consideration?
These issues and more, when host Austin Jenkins sits down for the full hour with Bill Edmonds, executive director of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.