About Sierra Nevada

​Most power that the Sierra Nevada Region markets is generated by power plants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, in the California Central Valley Project, including those at Shasta, Folsom, Trinity and New Melones dams. We import additional power over WAPA’s share of the Pacific Northwest-Pacific Southwest Intertie and the California-Oregon Transmission Project 500-kilovolt lines linking northern and central California to the Pacific Northwest. After meeting project use load, CVP firm power serves the equivalent of the annual electrical needs of 650,000 Californians. We sell about 5.5 billion kilowatt hours of power in an average water year.

Marketing and delivering those electrical resources to irrigation districts, joint power agencies, cities and towns, public utility districts, military and federal research installations, educational institutions and prisons in California is the Sierra Nevada Region’s main business. We also serve these customers by operating and maintaining 18 substations and 884 miles of 69- to 500-kV transmission lines.


In Sierra Nevada, we provide our customers with diverse services. For example, we provide technical assistance through the Energy Services Program, such as infrared scanning for energy leaks, efficient lighting or demand-side management, and we help customers plan for future power needs. We also provide scheduling coordinator services-matching loads and supplies for customers-and communicate information to the balancing authority area. If customers desire new products and services, we are open to exploring their ideas.

To serve customers, SN employees manage projects; ensure environmental protection; establish and monitor employee safety and system security policies; manage administrative functions, such as property management and information services; schedule power and handle customer billing; analyze hydroelectric resources; ensure system maintenance; administer contracts and set rates; provide technical assistance regarding efficient energy use; and oversee finances and budgeting. Now operating from five duty stations throughout Northern California, including the regional office in Folsom, Calif., we work at the forefront of technological advances and amidst unprecedented change in the electric utility industry.

With many diverse players competing in the electric utility industry to buy and sell power, we will build upon our products and services in SN to meet customer needs. Our goals are to market reliable Central Valley Project power, provide customer services that keep pace with the new industry and to enhance our ability to repay project obligations. To help achieve these goals, we have taken steps to reduce costs, such as reducing contract support and renegotiating purchase power commitments.


SN manages transmission facilities in California to market power from the Central Valley and Washoe projects. SN also maintains ownership rights to capacity in the Pacific AC Intertie and the California-Oregon Transmission Project. Fifty percent of SN’s load and the COTP is located in the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s balancing authority area. The other half and the Pacific AC Intertie is located in the California Independent System Operator balancing authority area.

​The Sierra Nevada Region is one of five offices in the Western Area Power Administration.

SN markets power in northern and central California, and portions of Nevada, to wholesale customers and federal end-use customers such as towns, rural electric cooperatives, public utility and irrigation districts, federal, state, and military agencies, Native American tribes and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation customers.


12-month rolling forecast of CVP generation and BR

Last modified on April 30th, 2024