Hydro operator Chelan County Public Utility District has approved a 17-year power sales agreement with Alcoa, increasing the previous supply of hydropower and enabling the aluminum company to open a third potline at the Alcoa Wenatchee Smelter.
The agreement, approved Dec. 3, secures about 267 MW for Alcoa from the 1,236.6-MW Rocky Reach and 623.2-MW Rock Island hydroelectric projects on the Columbia River in Washington. (HNN 8/15/07) Final contract terms are being drafted, Alcoa said.
Alcoa said that increase of about 84 MW over its current contract will enable it to expand production, add about 60 jobs, and assure the smelter’s long-term survival.
The agreement is to take effect Nov. 1, 2011, when the current contract expires, and run through October 2028. Alcoa said the deal will provide Alcoa about 25 percent of the renewable hydropower produced by Rocky Reach and Rock Island.
The additional power will enable Alcoa to increase production by 42,000 metric tons per year to a total 142,000 metric tons annually.
Chelan has another large supply contract with Puget Sound Energy, providing the utility another 25 percent of the power from Rocky Reach and Rock Island. That 20-year agreement was approved in 2006. (HNN 4/26/06) The PUD has been seeking Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, to finance modernization of Rocky Reach, Rock Island, and its other hydro facilities.