Welcome to ColumbiaValue.com


Energy Northwest provides the clean energy that powers your life.

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Columbia Generating Station has never run better in its 31 year history. The key to that success is our people. Our Maintenance department, Operations, our engineers and many, many others who work hard every day to help the organization achieve and sustain excellence. It has truly been a team effort.

- Mark Reddemann, CEO

Columbia Generating Station produces enough electricity to power a city the size of Seattle. And the electricity from Columbia is carbon-free. Compared to natural gas, Columbia prevents about 3.4 million metric tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere each year.

This reliable, around the clock power – not hindered by weather or time of day – has real future benefits when compared with alternatives.

Columbia Generating Station provides other benefits to the Northwest beyond providing reliable, affordable electric power. Columbia employs hundreds of dedicated, highly educated employees who live in the region and participate in the economy – it’s estimated that Energy Northwest generates about $440 million in economic activity right in the Mid-Columbia.

In addition to direct employment, Energy Northwest pays a “privilege tax” for being able to generate power ($4.5 million per year) and itself directly spends over $10 million per year to local businesses for a variety of goods and services.

Columbia Generating Station is an integral part of the community in more ways than one.

A majority of Washington state residents support nuclear energy.

Energy Northwest commissioned three surveys in the spring and summer of 2015 to assess public opinions of nuclear energy. As shown in the results below, a large majority of Washington residents favor nuclear energy.


 There is a gap in the perception that others also support nuclear energy, as seen below.


Nuclear energy brings value to the Northwest in a number of ways.

C-Bullet.jpg Quick Facts

Boiling water reactor (nuclear)


Approximately 1,190 megawatts (gross)
10 miles north of Richland, Wash.
Site Size:
~1,089 acres

C-History.jpg History

Construction Permit Issued:
March 1973
NRC Issued Plant Operating License:
December 1983
Operating License Expiration:
December 2043
First Electricity Produced:
May 1984
Commercial Operation:
December 1984
First Refueling Completed:
April 1986

C-Bullet.jpg Cost of Power

Projected Levelized
Cost of Power (2014-2043):
4.7 - 5.2 cents/kWh
Comparison Costs*: 
Natural Gas: 6 - 14 cents/kWh
Wind: 7 - 10 cents/kWh
Solar: 11 - 42 cents/kWh 
*Levelized costs according to the Energy Information Administration. Levelized cost represents the per kilowatt-hour cost (in real dollars) of building and operating a generating plant over an assumed financial life and duty cycle. Key inputs to calculating levelized costs include overnight capital costs, fuel costs, fixed and variable operations and maintenance costs, financing costs and an assumed utilization rate for each plant type.

NWPPA Bulletin August 2015
Nuclear energy in the Northwest:
today and tomorrow