Chelan PUD, Puget Sound Energy finalize hydropower supply contract

Rock Island hydro

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) and Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) have announced a new contract for supply of renewable hydropower from two PUD hydro projects on the Columbia River.

The contract will bolster PSE’s supply of carbon-free energy, in line with the goal of becoming a “Beyond Net Zero Carbon” energy company by 2045, while also supporting Washington state’s Clean Energy Transformation Act goals, according to a press release.

The five-year “slice” contract supplies PSE with 5% of the output from the PUD’s 624-MW Rock Island and 1,236.6-MW Rocky Reach hydropower projects from 2022 through 2026. The contract complements an existing contract between the two utilities while generating revenue for the PUD to provide continued rate stability for its customers.

“We value our positive, long-term relationship with PSE, and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to help PSE meet its carbon-free energy goals,” said PUD General Manager Steve Wright. “This supports our power marketing strategy moving forward and demonstrates the value hydropower offers to support carbon emission reduction goals.”

PSE secured the contract following a competitive bidding process in the first quarter of 2021.

“We are excited to be working with Chelan PUD on this renewable hydropower which gives our customers an additional carbon-free resource,” said PSE Vice President of Energy Supply Ron Roberts. “This agreement reflects our commitment to combating climate change and creating a clean energy future that benefits all of the customers and communities we serve.”

In January 2021, PSE set its “Beyond Net Zero Carbon” energy company goal. PSE will target reducing its carbon emissions to net zero and go beyond by helping other sectors to enable carbon reduction across the state of Washington.

Chelan PUD delivers electricity from three hydroelectric projects to more than 51,000 retail customers in the county as well as other utilities across the Pacific Northwest. PSE is the largest utility in Washington State supporting 1.1 million electric customers and nearly 900,000 natural gas customers.

Chelan PUD announced a similar supply contract with Avista, signed earlier this month.

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