Chelan County PUD
Customer Service Director John Stoll Monday outlined the steps the PUD is taking to meet state and federal energy conservation requirements leading up to a Nov. 16 public hearing required by passage of Initiative 937.
In addition to requiring utilities to use more wind and solar energy to meet customer load by 2020, the new state law also requires yearly energy savings through conservation. For efficiency, the PUD is combining the public process for I-937 with consideration of two more standards required by the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA).
The next step will be more discussion of new conservation programs at the Oct. 26 board meeting (1 p.m. in the boardroom in Wenatchee). Customers are encouraged to comment at the meeting and through the PUD’s Web site.
PUD Conservation staff have spent months reviewing options and potential programs to determine the PUD’s goal for the next two years of saving 3 average megawatts of power. (One megawatt of electricity is enough power to serve about 500 Northwest homes).
As part of that effort, the PUD is ending its home weatherization loan program in favor of offering financial incentives to residential customers to install energy-saving doors, windows and other measures. The PUD’s Resource$mart program for commercial and industrial customers will continue, along with support for Community Action Council’s weatherization program for low-income families. Efficiency improvements for the power grid are also in the plan, explained Andrew Wendell, Conservation and Customer Service manager.
About $1.4 million will be spent on conservation programs for 2010 to save 1.5 average megawatts. Adjustments will be made to programs, as needed, in order to save another 1.5 megawatts the following year.
More information about the conservation program proposals will be posted soon on the PUD’s Web site.
Chelan County PUD employees have finished rehabilitating the first of the four original units at Rock Island Dam to ensure continued production of clean, renewable hydropower for several more decades.
This is the first time District crews have done this type of work so extensively, which resulted in administrative contract savings and provided valuable training for employees who will maintain the units, said Tom Treat, Rock Island Dam manager.
Work started on Unit B3 in March 2009, and the turbine-generator was back producing electricity on Sept. 17. The job involved overhauling the turbine (the part spun by water) and modernizing the generator (the part that creates the electricity) at a cost of about $6.7 million.
A key part of the wicket gates, which control water flow onto the turbine blades, was replaced with an environmentally friendlier system that uses a special plastic composite bushing so grease does not have to be used as a lubricant.
For the generator, PUD engineers designed a new support (foundation) system which will allow the stator to be moved to counteract the force of gravity pulling the rotor toward the stator. That will decrease possible future need for expensive unit outages and reduce the risk of contact between the rotor (which spins) and the stator (stacks of stationary metal which conduct electric current).
PUD crews assembled and installed the new stator manufactured by Voith Hydro of York, PA. The overhaul of the next unit has started, and B4 is expected back on line by March 2010.
John Yale, senior generation technical adviser; Simon Marcoux, senior mechanical engineer; and Matthew Davis, senior electrical engineer, outlined the successful project for PUD commissioners.
In other business, commissioners:
PUD commissioners will host a special meeting from 2-4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13, in the boardroom with commissioners from Chelan County and the Port of Chelan County.
The next regular PUD commission meeting is at 1 p.m. on Oct. 19, 2009, in the PUD boardroom at 327 N. Wenatchee Ave.
Most PUD commission meetings are recorded, and a link to the audio is available on the PUD’s home page at www.chelanpud.org.
Public information officer
Chelan County PUD
(509) 661-4320, office
(509) 679-6858, mobile