In the years ahead, EWEB will have to make a lot of decisions about where to get the electricity that we deliver to customers.Find Out More
On a chilly November day, third graders from Adams Elementary School in Eugene learned about the lifecycle of native salmon on a field trip to Lake Creek near Triangle Lake. The field trips take place all month as part of a program funded by EWEB grants. EWEB dedicates a portion of customer rates to inspiring kids to explore the wonders of science and learn about watershed health, water quality, and emergency preparedness.Find Out More
For EWEB, preparing for harsh winter storms is a year-round responsibility. While we can’t control the weather, we can make our electric infrastructure more resilient to withstand storms that bring snow, ice and wind to Eugene.Find Out More
At the Nov. 1st board meeting, EWEB Commissioners got an update on the budget and rates for next year and the EWEB quarterly report.Find Out More
There’s no obvious right answer to the question of what to do about the Leaburg dam and canal. EWEB’s Board of Commissioners met this week for a work session with staff about the project.Find Out More
Imagine if heavy snowfall and freezing rain hit Eugene this winter. Imagine damaged trees, road closures and widespread power outages. What would you do?Find Out More
Hundreds of landowners in the McKenzie River valley are working with EWEB to prevent future fires and protect the river by replanting burned properties and removing fuels like dead trees and underbrush.Find Out More
By partnering with ShakeAlert and the Oregon Hazards Lab, EWEB gets an early warning of the effects of earthquakes on hydropower facilities.Find Out More
EWEB works with watershed researchers, forest management agencies and local non-profits to identify threats to our water supply and public health, prioritize watershed restoration activities and help with long-term community recovery.Find Out More
EWEB held its Poster Contest for 5th grade students in our service territory for Public Power Week, October 2-8, receiving more than 100 entries from classrooms across the area.Find Out More
When access to pad mount transformers, cable, and smart meter chips tightened, EWEB only had one choice – double down on its core values, provide safe and reliable electricity. Below are the stories from EWEB staff about how they have navigated the ups and downs of this new frontier.Find Out More
EWEB's elected Board of Commissioners has voted to authorize General Manager Frank Lawson to pursue and negotiate the sale of the former EWEB headquarters building.Find Out More
Local middle school students from around the area learned about the entire life cycle of salmon along the McKenzie River at Salmon Watch 2022, which was held at the EWEB spawning channel. The field trip took place during peak salmon spawning season, when fish that are at least two feet long are reaching the end of their journey from the ocean to their natal streams.Find Out More
EWEB is bringing back our annual poster contest for Public Power Week, and needs your help to select our top 5 winners!Find Out More
EWEB’s electric safety trailer is an interactive tool for the public to learn how to react in a potentially dangerous situation.Find Out More
Here in Eugene, we are fortunate to have one of the cleanest power portfolios in the nation, with almost no electricity sourced from fossil fuels. While around 20 percent of Eugene's power comes from community-owned or co-owned projects, the majority of EWEB's power is delivered through Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and the federal Columbia River Power System.
For decades, we have relied on these clean, reliable power resources to serve our community's electricity needs. But in the coming decade, many of our power supply contracts are set to expire, including our largest contract with BPA.
While negotiations for a new contract won't begin in earnest for a few years, EWEB and Bonneville are already laying the groundwork for future conversations about new product opportunities. In early March 2020, BPA administrator Elliot Mainzer visited EWEB as part of his outreach to utilities that rely on power generated by Federal resources, including the Columbia River Power System.
In Mr. Mainzer's presentation to EWEB's Board of Commissioners, he outlined key elements of a recently published five -year strategic plan that calls for reducing costs and debt, modernizing systems and operating key assets more efficiently and developing new products to meet the region's changing energy needs.
"In developing our strategic plan, we not only looked at our competitiveness, we looked at the market," Mainzer told the EWEB Board. "We asked, what's going to be the modern version of the Bonneville Power Administration? How can we be an agile, responsive and competitively-priced utility, so that when we get into the next decade and start negotiating long-term contracts, we can remain that provider of choice for our public power customers?"
As Mainzer noted in his presentation, there's a lot of commonality between EWEB and BPA-many of the issues that EWEB is facing here locally, Bonneville is also addressing at a regional scale. This includes investments to protect listed fish species, a push toward decarbonization, concerns about resource adequacy as western coal plants retire, and a need to modernize systems and aging infrastructure. These issues are likely to play a significant role in future contract negotiations.
"When we look at updating EWEB's contract with BPA and other aspects of our power portfolio, we will be operating in the context of a changing climate, new technology, developing markets and evolving customer expectations," said EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson. "This dynamic landscape will create new challenges and opportunities related to power resources, electric infrastructure, and the products and services available to our customers."
Among those products and services will be different electricity service plans, said Lawson.
"I expect that in a few years, EWEB will offer several energy product choices to our customers with different attributes such as carbon content and price, and that certainly implicates our contract with BPA."
Elliot Mainzer said Bonneville is preparing for the next round of contracts by reaching out to its customers across the region to better understand the kinds power products those utilities want to make available to their retail customers.
"EWEB is already well ahead of the curve, thinking about what those customer choices might look like in the future—the carbon content, price structure, flexibility, etc.," said Mainzer. "As EWEB advances these concepts and is being very proactive about what the community here may be looking for, we [BPA] will go back to the drawing board and ask, what are the things that we can do to supplement that and keep EWEB's cost of delivery as affordable as possible."
Bonneville Power Administration, a nonprofit federal power marketing administration, provides about 28 percent of the electric power used in the Northwest. BPA markets wholesale power from 31 federal hydroelectric projects in the Northwest, one nonfederal nuclear plant and several small nonfederal power plants. BPA also operates and maintains about three-fourths of the high-voltage transmission in its service territory, which includes Idaho, Oregon, Washington, western Montana and small parts of eastern Montana, California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.
4200 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97402
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