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From our Newsroom
BPA takes step toward more normal operations, ramping up construction and maintenance work
BPA takes additional precautions to protect workforce
BPA offers rate relief to customers hit economically by pandemic
Dear BPA Customers,
I wanted to reach out to wish you well and update you on the status of operations at the Bonneville Power Administration.
These are unprecedented times for the world and they have called for unprecedented actions. Since March 16, BPA has been operating primarily on a virtual basis, with our non-mission essential function employees working from home or other locations. The mission critical staff who operate our control centers have continued to come to work to keep the lights on, and I am deeply appreciative of their service. We continue to monitor local, state and national developments to determine if additional actions are necessary to protect our workforce and the communities we serve.
I have been participating in regular coordination calls with the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, the U.S. Department of Energy and other federal agencies to stay abreast of the most current developments and best practices and to coordinate with regulatory agencies and national policymakers. We have also been working with state and local officials to ensure that our field staff can access electrical facilities or other sites to provide any needed maintenance activities or respond to emergencies in areas with shelter in place orders. I have been quite impressed with the extent of cooperation between industry and government, and the electricity sector is holding up well under the circumstances.
The people of Bonneville have been working very hard to maintain business continuity. More than 3,600 people are teleworking on a regular basis, an act made possible by the hard work of our Information Technology organization in recent years to increase bandwidth and support business continuity. Our incident command structure has also been performing very well, with staff working long hours and providing regular updates to our senior executives and employees. We remain deeply committed to maintaining the reliable power and transmission service that you depend on from BPA.
We are also working hard to maintain key initiatives and public processes to the maximum extent possible through teleconferences and other electronic media. These include the Integrated Program Review public process that we are preparing to launch in June, and the Columbia River System Operations Review. We will of course keep you posted through our account executives and other regular communication channels of any changes to these or other key initiatives.
My heart goes out to the millions of people who have been directly impacted by the coronavirus in very serious ways, either through direct contact with the disease or through loss of work and economic dislocation. The full implications of this pandemic will not be known for some time. As for the electric utility industry, we know that with reductions in loads and other economic consequences, there will be financial implications on our industry, and we have begun to evaluate potential impacts on BPA and our customers. We are also exploring ways that we can support the people most directly impacted by the virus in the communities we serve, especially low-income populations.
Events and circumstances are evolving on a day-by-day basis. We will keep you posted on any changes in BPA’s current operating status, including when we may shift away from teleworking back toward regular operations.
As we are doing internally at BPA, let’s please look for ways to stay connected as a regional utility community. We will continue to share information with you, and I encourage you to stay connected with your BPA representatives and other colleagues as we work through this period of uncertainty, take care of our people, and provide the critical services that power our region. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to support you during these challenging times.
With very best wishes,
Information for the workforce regarding current operating conditions can be found at
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