Economic Impact

For more than 33 years, Columbia Generating Station has provided an economic and employment base that has helped sustain a robust Tri-Cities economy. Columbia Generating Station supports families and communities, principally in southeastern Washington, but also provides economic benefits throughout the state.

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.


The study is based on data provided to NEI by EN and the Electric Utility Cost Group, for employment, operating expenditures and tax payments. NEI then used a nationally recognized model provided by Regional Economic Models, Inc. to determine the final numbers.



The study found the total number of jobs supported by Columbia annually is over 3,930. That includes over 2,830 jobs in Washington and more than 1,100 in the rest of the United States. These employment numbers include the number of direct and additional jobs created as a result of the expenditures from Columbia operations. Besides direct employment by Energy Northwest, other jobs supported by Columbia can be found in retail, construction, real estate and health care, to name a few.


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Columbia provides more than
$690 million in economic output a year, including more than $475 million in Washington state.

Columbia’s operations support over 3,930 jobs, including more than 2,830 jobs in Washington state.

Tax impacts
Operating Columbia contributes approximately $13.4 million annually in local and state taxes, including $5.3 million in privilege taxes, $7.8 million in sales taxes, $227,000 in leasehold taxes, and $33,000 in business and occupation gross receipts taxes.

NEI Economic Impacts of the
Columbia Generating Station