The rights and obligations of the ColumbiaGrid members are defined in the bylaws of the corporation. New members can be added via an amendment to the bylaws, and the existing members must consider adding new members at least yearly. Interested entities are encouraged to apply, although it is not necessary to become a member to participate in the programs operated by ColumbiaGrid.
All of the current members of ColumbiaGrid operate control areas and act as balancing authorities, and they actively participate in regional forums concerning power planning and operations. A list and brief description of current members can be found under ColumbiaGrid Members.
ColumbiaGrid’s members funded the 2006 start-up of the organization under the Second Funding Agreement. Funding is allocated among the members through a three-part formula. One part of the formula provides for an equal sharing of 30 percent of the total funding; a second part consists of sharing 40 percent of costs pro-rata to current transmission investment; and the third part is a sharing of 30 percent of costs pro-rata to load service. There is an adjustment made to ensure that no one member has an overall allocated share above 49.90 percent since voting rights are based upon share percentages. Current share percentages can be downloaded here.
The members agreed to a Third Funding Agreement which established a permanent working capital account of $1 million and ran through August 2010. The Fourth Funding Agreement was a six year agreement that ran through December 2016 and established a 40% Corporate Cost Allocation Factor. The company is currently operating under the Fifth Funding Agreement which started January 1, 2017, and runs through 2020 . It includes a lower Maximum Total Funding Obligation (MTFO) than the prior funding agreement, recognizing the company's continued operating efficiencies in lowering its overall costs (2016 being the lowest in company history).
For further information about membership, contact Patrick Damiano, ColumbiaGrid's CEO.