Economic Impact

​​​​​​​​​​​​Since 1984, Columbia Generating Station has been providing an economic and employment base that has helped sustain a robust Tri-Cities economy. Columbia 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.

The Columbia Generating Station: Columbia's operations will result in over a billion dollars in economic benefits for Washington between 2018 and 2043 (license expiration)

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 o​f jobs supported by Columbia annually is more than 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. In addition to employment by Energy Northwest, other jobs supported by Columbia can be found in retail, construction, real estate and health care, to name a few.