Who We Are

The Western Power Trading Forum is a broad-based membership organization with nearly 70 member companies, dedicated to encouraging competition in Western states electric markets.

Our goal is to reduce the long-run cost of electricity to consumers throughout the region, and maintain the current high level of system reliability.

WPTF actions focus on developing competitive electricity markets throughout the Western states. By developing uniform operating rules to facilitate transactions among market participants, a vital energy market can be established.

WPTF provides an information clearinghouse for our members, actively tracking and analyzing relevant regulatory proceedings at the state, regional, or national level. The WPTF also provides a unified voice which can influence the development of market structures throughout the region.

What We Believe

  1. Competition yields lower electricity rates.
  2. Stable and transparent rules and regulations promote private investment.
  3. Private investors, rather than utilities, will spend money on new power plants and transmission facilities if they can earn a return that is balanced with the risks.
  4. Private sector investment results in lower average prices without risking consumers' money.
  5. However, when IOUs do the investing, the risks to them are minimal or non-existent because ratepayers cover all of the costs.
  6. Overcapacity lowers electricity spot market prices; yet retail rates can increase in this case due to full cost-of-service regulation.
  7. Markets work best when there are many buyers and sellers.
  8. At-risk money will be put to work and attract new investment where markets exist that are legitimate and yield credible prices.
  9. WPTF encourages the creation of independent, multi-state regional transmission organizations that coordinate policies with respective state utility commissions.
  10. WPTF support rules for resource adequacy that apply uniformly among all load-serving entities.

MEMBERSHIP'S SHARE OF CALIFORNIA'S ELECTRICITY MARKET

WPTF member companies are putting people to work in California, accounting for over 2,250 high paying jobs.

WPTF member companies are keeping the lights on in California with more than 2,200 MWs of renewable power (solar, wind, geothermal) and over 24,000 MWs of clean efficient natural-gas-fueled- base-load and green energy shaping generation.

WPTF member companies also provide competitive retail electricity supply to California's schools, hospitals, universities, and businesses through the Direct Access market which now accounts for 10% of the retail load in California.

MEMBERSHIP INVESTMENT IN CALIFORNIA

WPTF member companies have invested over $16.4 billion in the State and continue to make significant investments in California.

WPTF member companies currently have 4,300 MWs of natural gas generation under development and an equal amount, 4,300 MWs of renewable energy under development.

WPTF anticipated future investment in California:  $12.6 billion

CALIFORNIA ELECTRICITY BY THE NUMBERS

Fuel sources that keep the lights on in California:

Natural Gas 56.7%
Nuclear 15.3%
Renewable 13.9%
Large Hydro 12.2%
Coal 1.8%

California's electrical capacity is generated from:

In-State 69% 
Pacific Northwest 7%
Desert Southwest 24%    

(Source: California Energy Commission 2009 Data)