The Purchase Power and Wheeling, or PPW, program allows WAPA to purchase resources from the energy market when WAPA cannot fulfill its contractual commitments to customers. When federal resources are unavailable or restricted due to variable hydrology or operational constraints, WAPA can purchase power from other suppliers or transmission capacity, which is called wheeling. These purchases can occur during normal operations or during adverse conditions, such as a heat wave, drought or polar vortex.

The use of PPW varies by project depending on the way power is marketed to customers under each project’s long-term contracts. Many of WAPA’s large power projects use the PPW program in some manner each year.

WAPA strategically purchases power for customers to keep costs low, including purchasing the lowest cost resource available, leveraging reservoir storage to buy during low energy prices and purchasing energy in greater quantities to take advantage of economies of scale. WAPA recovers its PPW expenses from customers through its rates.

​Most of the PPW funds are used to support reliable energy delivery during adverse conditions, and WAPA maintains PPW Reserves to ensure the organization has the funds on hand to purchase power in unexpected or enduring contingencies, from severe storms to drought. Without the PPW program, WAPA could not fulfill many contractual power commitments to customers, risking reliable power delivery as well as the ability of WAPA to recover annual costs and repay capital investments to the U.S. Treasury.

Learn more about WAPA’s PPW program

News about PPW

PPW Reserves information

Last modified on May 1st, 2024