ColumbiaGrid, a new entity created to improve the operational efficiency, reliability and planned expansion of the Northwest interconnected electric transmission system, announced in April that it has been incorporated as a nonprofit membership corporation in Washington state.

The corporation was formed by operators of the Northwest interconnection to integrate the use and expansion of their systems in order to achieve needed improvements efficiently and cost-effectively, while taking into account environmental concerns and other regional interests.

The members of ColumbiaGrid include: Avista Corp., Bonneville Power Administration, Chelan County PUD, Grant County PUD, Puget Sound Energy and Seattle City Light. Chelan County PUD's membership will become effective upon approval of Chelan County PUD's board of commissioners.

The members have been named in the corporation's bylaws, which were approved at an April 14, 2006, meeting. The bylaws also describe the corporation's purposes and detail how the group will conduct its business. Next, ColumbiaGrid expects to name a three-member board of directors on July 15, as well as complete functional agreements that state the specifics of the group's roles and responsibilities.