Western sells power to 687 firm and nonfirm wholesale power customers, including cities and towns, rural electric cooperatives, public utility and irrigation districts, Federal and state agencies, investor-owned utilities, power marketers and Native American tribes. They, in turn, provide retail electric service to millions of consumers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
Western's customers are represented by its four regional offices and Management Center that include Colorado River Storage Project Management Center, Desert Southwest Region, Rocky Mountain Region, Sierra Nevada Region and Upper Great Plains Region.
Western is a wholesale power provider. Our customers provide retail electric service to millions of consumers in 15 western and central states. However, we do have a number of end-use customers, including Federal and state agencies, tribes and irrigation districts that do not resell power from Western to residential or commercial consumers but use it for their own facilities. However, the vast majority of Western’s customers/customer members serve consumers over their electrical distribution systems.
Long-term firm power requirements
Long-term firm customers must have preference status, be within the project marketing area, have utility status (except for Native American tribes), be ready and able to deliver power to their loads and must complete an electric service contract with Western.
Various laws, including the Reclamation Project Act of 1939, require Western to give preference to certain types of nonprofit organizations seeking to purchase Federal power. Those entitled to preference include cities and towns, state and Federal agencies, irrigation districts, public utility districts and rural electric cooperatives. Western also developed a policy to give preference to Native American tribes regardless of whether they have utility status.
Purchasing only transmission
When Western has excess transmission available to market, it is listed on an Open Access Same-time Information System, or OASIS site. Available transmission capacity on Western’s lines can be purchased by those who seek to deliver energy across Western's system. Western also may use existing transmission contracts or OASIS sites to purchase transmission to deliver energy to our customers.