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How We Help

ColumbiaGrid came about as the result of a decades-long effort to solve transmission issues in the Pacific Northwest. It was formed to enter into and carry out contracts (referred to as “Functional Agreements”) that aim to improve reliability and efficient use of the transmission grid, provide cost-effective transmission planning and expansion, develop and implement solutions related to the use and expansion of the interconnected Northwest transmission system, and support effective market monitoring within the Northwest and the Western Interconnection.

ColumbiaGrid’s bylaws describe an organization that approaches these issues in a systematic way.  The organization is member driven, and its activities are determined and decided upon by the members, with input from interested persons.  ColumbiaGrid enters into agreements to work together on solving reliability and efficiency problems.

The Functional Agreement Development Chart  represents how the parties, including ColumbiaGrid, decide on areas of work and develop agreements to carry them out.  The members, with input from interested persons and ColumbiaGrid, identify services they would like ColumbiaGrid to provide.  Participants and ColumbiaGrid negotiate an agreement for the services, which is memorialized by a legal drafting team.  The draft agreement is issued for public review and comment, and after consideration of public input, the ColumbiaGrid board finalizes the agreement and offers it for signature.   Both ColumbiaGrid members and qualified non-members can sign and participate in the agreements, which broadly outline activities that will be undertaken by the organization.

ColumbiaGrid has begun several programs, each of which is connected directly to fulfilling one of the organizations’ purposes. Within those programs, discussion groups and study teams are formed to consider various needs and problems on the transmission system and look for viable solutions. These programs are described in greater detail in the Programs Section of this website.

If you are interested in discussing whether ColumbiaGrid is the appropriate forum for a particular transmission concern or issue, contact our staff (see "About Us").


Member: Tacoma Power      Project: ColumbiaGrid     
Tacoma Power

"As a charter member of ColumbiaGrid, Tacoma Power has observed the benefits for its customers of regional transmission planning. Engaging in the ColumbiaGrid collaborative transmission planning process has fostered diverse and innovative solutions. This open process for identifying and resolving transmission challenges has delivered cost-effective reliability to our entire region."
~~ William A. Gaines, Director of Utilities