Federal power marketing administrations and wind energy
The U.S. Department of Energy includes four power marketing administrations (PMAs). These PMAs market electricity generated by federal dams and operate thousands of miles of high voltage transmission wires.
The federal PMAs are:
- Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), territory covers parts of Ore., Wash, Idaho, Mont.
- Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), territory covers portions of Ca., Nev., Ut., Ariz., N.M., Tex., Colo., Kan., Neb., Wyo., N.D., S.D., Mont., Minn., Iowa.
- Southwestern Power Administration (SWPA), territory covers portions of Ark., Kan., La., Mo., Okla., Texas
- Southeastern Power Administration (SEPA), territory covers portions of Ga., Ala., Ky., Miss., Ill., Fla., Va., Tenn., N.C., S.C.
AWEA fights for improved business practices
AWEA and the wind industry have focused in particular on policies and business practices of WAPA (see our comments to WAPA here) and BPA given the large and growing wind energy being integrated onto their systems.
AWEA has fought for policies to improve how the PMAs operate their transmission systems to enhance cooperation with neighboring transmission operators and improve the ability to integrate renewable energy. AWEA has also pushed to limit wind integration charges and wind energy curtailment by BPA.
What PMAs and WAPA can do
The PMAs also have the ability to partner on transmission development and share costs with private transmission developers, which can facilitate getting poles in the ground and wires in the air.
In addition, BPA and WAPA have the ability to borrow from the federal Treasury in order to help finance transmission construction. In some cases, the PMAs can also facilitate the purchase of renewable energy by their customers, mostly government-owned utilities.
AWEA has advocated for increased activity in all of these areas from the PMAs.
Get involved: Join the AWEA Transmission Committee
For additional information and to keep up-to-date on future developments, participate in AWEA’s Transmission Committee.