Western Area Power Administration is a federal organization under the Department of Energy that markets and delivers clean, renewable, reliable, cost-based federal hydroelectric power and related services across 15 central and western states.
WAPA's employees work around the clock to sell power and operate and maintain an integrated 17,000-plus circuit mile, high-voltage transmission system that provides wholesale energy to not-for-profit utilities who then provide electricity to more than 40 million people in the West.
WAPA also runs the Transmission Infrastructure Program, which develops and upgrades new and existing electrical infrastructure to facilitate the delivery of renewable generation.
WAPA's mission and vision
OUR MISSION: Safely provide reliable, cost-based hydropower and transmission to our customers and the communities we serve
OUR VISION: Empowering communities, securing a resilient energy future
- Construction – Engineers throughout WAPA are responsible for the construction of new and upgraded transmission lines and related facilities.
- Design – WAPA's Design staff provides transmission system engineering services and expertise with an emphasis on substation, transmission line and building designs.
- Maintenance – WAPA's Maintenance staff, which makes up more than one-half of WAPA's workforce, focuses on reliability and providing superior customer service in keeping the system in good operating condition.
- Natural Resources – The Natural Resources Office is made up of Environment and Lands teams. The Environment team focuses on environmental planning and compliance, National Environmental Policy Act compliance, cultural resources and endangered species issues, and hazardous material transportation. The Lands team assists in the development, acquisition and management of land and land rights required for Western's transmission system.
- Planning – WAPA's Planning staff conducts short-and long-term planning studies to assess the impacts to power flows on the transmission system in response to upgraded or new facilities that intend to interconnect to WAPA's grid. They also actively participate in regional planning groups to ensure WAPA's support and involvement in collaborative future planning.
- Power Marketing – WAPA primarily markets wholesale federal power.
- Power System Operations – WAPA's Power System Operations staff is responsible for the reliable operation of WAPA's transmission system and multiple balancing authorities.
- Transmission Infrastructure Program – This WAPA program is responsible for developing transmission and related technology projects to deliver, or facilitate the delivery of, renewable energy. To accomplish this, Congress granted WAPA $3.25 billion in borrowing authority through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
- Transmission Marketing – WAPA is also in the business of transmission marketing. After WAPA meets its capacity needs to deliver federal hydropower to its firm power customers, any additional available transmission capacity is sold on WAPA's Open-Access, Same-Time Information System.
WAPA At a Glance - FY 2021