1997 Pacific Northwest Coordination Agreement

1964 was a critical year in the development and operation of the Columbia River power system. This was the year congress ratified the Columbia River Treaty (September 16), passed the Pacific Northwest Consumer Power Preference Act (August 31) and acquired money for the first construction of the Pacific Northwest/Pacific Southwest Intertie (June 24). It was also signed in the year 16 facilities in the Northwest, including the federal water and energy authorities and electricity suppliers, the Pacific Northwest Coordination Agreement, signed on September 15 (see also the report on the agreement for the Power Council in 1989). The agreement requires participants to coordinate the operation of their power plants in order to maximize their efficiency. The Wells project is being implemented in a coordinated manner with other regional hydroelectric projects. The regulation of upstream reservoirs in the United States and Canada has been increasingly regulated over the past decade to meet federal objectives for the protection and improvement of fish and wildlife. The regulation of upstream reservoirs in the United States and Canada is also subject to the Pacific Northwest Coordination Agreement (PNCA), the U.S.-Canada Columbia-Canada Treaty on the cooperative development of the Columbia River and its tributaries, as well as many other multi-purpose functions authorized by law, such as electricity, flood protection, marine navigation, recreation and water quality. The Wells project is benefiting from dams in the United States and Canada because of its downstream location. The NCP was revised in 1997 to partially recognize dam operations that protect migratory fish in the spring and summer and thus reduce hydroelectric production. The agreement is currently in force until September 15, 2024. Douglas PUD is a contracting party to another agreement with the operators of six other federal and non-federal dams located both upstream and downstream of Wells for a 20-year period through June 30, 2017, known as the Mid-Columbia Hourly Coordination Agreement. Originally designed to respond to the search for a means of protecting wells and other downstream projects from the adverse effects of advanced operations on federal upstream projects, the stated primary objective of this agreement is to maintain an optimal amount of energy from available water, consistent with electricity and insomnation needs.

The regulation of energy projects to meet the changing hourly costs of the parties to this agreement also has implications for the operation of the Wells project. Other agreements for the operation of the Wells project include the vernita Bar Settlement Agreement, approved by FERC on December 9, 1988, and its successor, the Hanford Reach Chinook Protection Program, presented by Grant PUD on April 19, 2004 and awaiting approval. Parties to the Agreement on the Hanford Reach Chinook Protection Program include Grant PUD, Chelan PUD, Douglas PUD, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), WDFW, CCT and BPA.