Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, the city of Boulder City, Nevada, and the San Luis Rey River Indian Water Authority in California are a few of the customers that rely on the hydroelectric power from Desert Southwest. These customers count on the region’s competitively priced resources to meet the electrical needs of residents, businesses and industries in the West.

DSW is one of four regions within WAPA, a federal power marketing administration. WAPA sells wholesale power and bulk wholesale transm​ission to local utilities, which then provide the power to more than 40 million Americans. Desert Southwest employees work hard to keep bulk power moving through the interconnected transmission system so that electricity ultimately reaches your home or business.​


Desert Southwest carries out WAPA’s mission to customers in Arizona, Southern California and southern Nevada. Within vast open spaces and an arid mountain and desert climate, we sell around 4.7 billion kilowatt-hours of federal hydroelectric power to cities and towns, rural electric cooperatives, federal and state agencies and irrigation districts. The region sells and delivers power from the Boulder Canyon and Parker-Davis projects, which are operated by the Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region. The projects include powerplants at Hoover, Davis and Parker dams. We also transmit power through the Pacific Northwest-Pacific Southwest Intertie. We deliver this energy through 67 substations and more than 2,300 miles of transmission lines.​


To keep the power flowing through the system for customers, we rely on maintenance crews at six duty stations throughout our service area. We also operate an extensive communications system using microwaves and fiber optics to coordinate the regional power system. Using this vital system, we can transmit everything from powerplant control to voice and corporate data communication. Even in the midst of record heat waves and torrential flash flooding, we meet the demand for electricity. We accomplish this by ensuring environmental protection; establishing system security and employee safety; operating and maintaining the transmission systems; scheduling and routing power; administering contracts and setting rates; and analyzing hydroelectric resources. In addition to our regional office in Phoenix, we work from five other locations: Coolidge, Flagstaff, Page and Yuma, Arizona; and Boulder City, Nevada. In Desert Southwest, we are committed to serving our customers in many ways. For example, our field crews help customers quickly restore service after storms or other major disturbances. We also encourage customers to comment on how we should operate our system in the future, and we help customers plan for future power needs.​


We are building upon existing products and services to meet customer needs. To continue to operate efficiently in this dynamic marketplace, our region must remain committed, innovative, flexible and resourceful while providing exceptional customer service. Part of operating efficiently involves seeking ways to address the growing need for more power in the Southwest. We are assisting our customers in finding new energy resources. Desert Southwest will continue to foster the efficient and equitable use of existing and future transmission facilities by participating in regional transmission associations, planning groups and reliability organizations, including the Western Electricity Coordinating Council. As we work amid unprecedented change in the industry, we recognize the importance of strong customer relations and flexible, superior service. We look forward to building upon our existing relationships and creating new ones.​​

Last modified on June 23rd, 2023