PNGC Power first evolved from the power crisis of the mid-1970s when a forward-thinking group of utilities banded together to create their own generation and transmission cooperative. In 1975, the original Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative was formed to jointly participate in new generation options.
The timeline below highlights how PNGC Power has developed from a buying group of 11 local co-ops into a member-owned cooperative that now provides sophisticated power management, technical innovation, and cutting-edge customer services and products.
- Formation of the original Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative to jointly participate in new resource options.
- Members from an existing power cooperative (Power Resources Cooperative) form a new Pacific Northwest Generating Cooperative to create a wholesale power-buying group to enhance leveraging of wholesale power supply.
- PNGC Power becomes the nation’s first electric cooperative to receive a power marketing license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), gaining the ability to purchase and resell power at wholesale. PNGC builds a $100 million-plus power portfolio in its first year.
- 6 cooperative utilities join PNGC’s buying group and PNGC adds non-member services including power supply analysis, power contract negotiation, cost-of-service analysis, rate design, and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) rate-case representation.
- Member-owner Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Redmond, Oregon) earns award from Northwest Environmental Advocates for successfully marketing green power from the Coffin Butte Resource Project located near Corvallis, Oregon. (Note: Central Electric Cooperative was subsequently recognized for being in the top 10 nationwide for customer participation in green power programs in 2002, 2003, and 2004.)
- Congress passes the PNGC Power-inspired Joint Operating Entities (JOE) Bill that benefits Northwest consumer-owned utility members of PNGC by enabling them to jointly purchase power at wholesale from BPA.
- With the JOE Bill in place, PNGC Power negotiates and enters into a consolidated 10-year Slice/Block contract for its members with BPA, thereby reducing risk and maximizing market opportunities.
- PNGC Power establishes its own power operations group to manage forecasting, tracking, and scheduling of its Slice power, 24/7.
- Technical capabilities greatly increase: PNGC adds a new Meter Data Management System (MDMS) that sends actual load data to PNGC schedulers every five minutes and implements sophisticated risk management tools.
- PNGC Power negotiates a substantial credit facility with the nation’s 2 primary cooperative banks.
- PNGC Power and members agree to participate in BPA’s Conservation and Renewable Discount Program (C&RD).
- PNGC Power introduces the Circuit Rider program to help member cooperatives identify opportunities for energy efficiency and savings.
- Founding CEO Dave Piper retires and Pat Reiten is appointed PNGC Power’s new president and CEO.
- Coffin Butte Resource Project is recognized by the EPA as one of the most efficient landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the country.
- PNGC Power, in partnership with BPA, concludes a field test (started in 1999) of fuel cells – an emerging technology that may be particularly well-suited for customers with facilities in outlying areas.
- PNGC Power continues to invest in high-level professional staff and state-of-the-art business and IT systems.
- PNGC Power helps establish the Customer Collaborative group that works with BPA to give its preferred customers an advance look at issues impacting future costs and rates.
- PNGC helps create the Coalition for Smart Salmon Recovery, now Northwest RiverPartners, an alliance of farmers, utilities, ports and businesses that promote the economic and environmental benefits of the Columbia and Snake Rivers and salmon recovery policies based on sound science.
- Management implements a Strategic Education Program (SEP), a method first used to help educate members about the Slice/Block product, focusing on current issues affecting PNGC Power and future power resource options and management strategies.
- PNGC Power rolls out the first of a three-phase software development and upgrade project geared to providing greater functionality and efficiencies to Power Operations.
- John Prescott is named President and Chief Executive Officer for PNGC Power.
- PNGC Power embarks on an Integrated Resource Plan process to evaluate various power supply options for the future. The goal is to find a balance between risk and cost in supplying reliable electricity, starting in 2011.
- PNGC and other stakeholders reached a $25.9 million settlement concerning Slice contract litigation that returned $4.9 million to PNGC member cooperatives.
- PNGC Power staff and Board of Directors ramp up focus and activities in preparation for the post-2011 energy environment in the Northwest.
- PNGC Power signs a new 20-year long-term contract with Bonneville Power Administration that secures the cost-based federal base system benefits and sets the stage for additional power resources post-2011.
- Lincoln Electric Cooperative (Eureka, Montana) partners with PNGC Power. PNGC Power actively pursues new energy sources and technology investment opportunities with other like-minded cooperatives and entities to ensure reliable and affordable power for all members in the future.
- PNGC Power continues to advocate for and represent PNGC’s long-term interests as climate change legislation progresses through the federal legislative process.
- Start of service as a Load Following customer under new long-term contracts with BPA. PNGC Power is working to ensure that contracts and related policies are shaped to fit member priorities and ensure extended rate stability.
- On March 31, 2015, PNGC Power purchased the Coffin Butte Landfill Gas Generation Project, located near Corvallis, Oregon. The project generates clean, renewable power from landfill gas, which is a natural by-product of the organic matter in the neighboring regional landfill.
- Orcas Power & Light Cooperative officially joins PNGC Power.
- Roger Gray is named President and Chief Executive Officer for PNGC Power.
- Ravalli Electric Cooperative officially joins PNGC Power.