Mission and History

The mission of the Transmission Agency of Northern California (TANC) is to assist its publicly-owned Member utilities in providing cost-effective energy supplies to their customers, through long-term ownership or contracts for service over high-voltage transmission lines within California and the western United States.


TANC was formed in 1984 as a joint powers authority to allow its Member utilities to plan and develop transmission facilities in a coordinated manner.

In the 1980s, as California utilities looked to access abundant hydroelectric energy in the Pacific Northwest, TANC led a diverse group of public and private utilities and federal agencies in the planning, permitting and ultimately the construction of the California-Oregon Transmission Project (COTP). The COTP is a 340-mile long, 500-kilvolt alternating current transmission line between Southern Oregon and Central California TANC successfully obtained Congressional approval for federal participation in the COTP.

Following a decade-long development cycle, the COTP began commercial operations in March 1993, dramatically increasing the reliability of the Northern California electric grid and the amount of energy that can be imported into California. Since the start of commercial operation, TANC has served as the Project Manager of the COTP, ensuring that this critical piece of California’s energy infrastructure is well maintained and available for energy transfers between California and the Pacific Northwest.

In addition, TANC has made improvements to the COTP to assist its Members and neighboring utilities improve the load serving capability in Northern California. TANC is continually working with utilities throughout the Western United States to address electric reliability issues.