Welcome to ColumbiaValue.com

Columbia Generating Station has never run better in its 33 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. 


- Brad Sawatzke, CEO

Columbia Generating Station produces enough electricity to power a city the size of Seattle. And the electricity from Columbia is carbon-free.

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

Columbia Generating Station also provides other benefits to the Northwest beyond reliable, affordable electric power.

A 2018 analysis by the Nuclear Energy Institute finds that Columbia Generating Station contributes more than $690 million a year in economic output, including $475 million in Washington state alone. Columbia’s operation also supports thousands of jobs overall.

The total economic benefit of Columbia operating through its license, currently 2043, is more than $8.9 billion for Washington, according to the study.

Nuclear. Clean air energy.


Did you know: more than 60 percent of the carbon-free electricity produced in the United States comes from nuclear energy? Yet nuclear energy receives little recognition for this clean air contribution.

For many states, such as Illinois, New York and New Jersey, nuclear energy is the largest source of carbon-free electricity. ​​​​​

Click to enlarge​

In Washington state, Columbia Generating Station is the third largest electricity generator behind Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams. The carbon-free nuclear energy from Columbia complements the electricity produced by the Federal hydro-electric system and renewables to make Washington state’s electricity mix one of the cleanest in the nation.  

 “At present, it’s not possible to entirely eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from the power system without the use of nuclear power or emerging technology breakthroughs in both energy efficiency and non-carbon emitting renewable resource generation.”
– 2016 Seventh Northwest Power Plan, Northwest Power and Conservation Council


Nuclear energy: important now more than ever


The future of nuclear energy holds tremendous promise, not only in producing carbon-free electricity, but in providing jobs and infrastructure that will boost employment  while providing home-grown energy.

With the national emphasis on STEM education (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), nuclear energy will be the career choice of future engineers and operators, chemists and health physics technicians.

People just like those at Energy Northwest.

Nearly a third of our workforce proudly served our country.

Now we serve Northwest communities with clean, reliable, cost-effective power.

That's who we are. We are the ones who provide the electricity that powers your life.

We do it professionally.

We do it to protect our environment.

And we do it because our mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, deserve clean, reliable, cost-effective electricity.

That’s who we are.

We are Energy Northwest.



Learn more about nuclear energy.

Click on the videos below to watch.

C-Bullet.jpg Quick Facts

Boiling water reactor (nuclear)


Approximately 1,207 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