Washington utility approves hydropower sale to Alcoa

Hydro operator Chelan County Public Utility District gave final approval July 14 to a 17-year hydropower sales agreement enabling Alcoa Inc. to open a third potline at its Alcoa Wenatchee Smelter.

The agreement secures about 267 MW for Alcoa through 2028 from the 1,236.6-MW Rocky Reach and 623.2-MW Rock Island hydroelectric projects on the Columbia River in Washington. (HNN 12/10/07)

Alcoa said that increase of about 84 MW over its current contract will enable it to expand production in 2012, add 60 to 80 new jobs at the 400-employee plant, 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 26 percent of the renewable hydropower produced by Rocky Reach and Rock Island in exchange for Alcoa paying 26 percent of the cost of producing and delivering the power, plus other costs and charges.

The additional power will enable Alcoa to increase production by 42,000 metric tons per year to a total 142,000 metric tons annually.

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