With an eye on using technology to improve customer service, Chelan PUD has updated substation standards as employees prepare to start building at four locations this year and next to meet growing load across the county.
Chelan County PUD commissioners Monday heard about the new standard for substation locations that provides room to respond to growth as it occurs and puts technology to work to improve reliability.
Chad Rissman, Distribution director, said using 2-acre sites, rather than 1 acre, gives room for advance monitoring, switching and metering equipment, improves safety and offers the ability to install additional capacity to meet growth. (At 00:29 on the board meeting audio recording)
The new standard will guide land purchases for future substation locations, Rissman said.
Andrew Wendell, Customer Service director, said work is on track to start building the Ohme Substation north of Wenatchee this year. (00:39)
New substations in Leavenworth and on the north shore of Lake Chelan are set for construction next year.
Wendell said growing load in downtown Wenatchee led to the need to enlarge the Wenatchee Substation on Worthen Street. Construction is targeted for next year.
PUD staff also is focused on finding a location for a new substation near the Chelan Dam and for one south of Wenatchee towards Malaga.
In other business, commissioners:
- Discussed ways to make Chelan PUD’s finances more resilient, with the ability to weather the storm during a financial downturn. Chief Financial/Risk Officer Kelly Boyd reported on recent testing of “what if” scenarios of low water supply, low prices and higher spending on major projects and/or operations and maintenance needs. Boyd said the District has the tools in place to adjust and keep finances strong. Among the tools for board consideration is the possibility of small rate increases over time to help avoid large increases even in low-revenue years. The information will be shared with stakeholders who are considering rate options for strategic planning. (01:20)
- Thanked Christina Detering, hydro support specialist, and Chris Shimer, journeyman wireman and EMT, for taking ownership and calling for medical aid when they saw a coworker become confused and disoriented during a fire drill. Two days after the drill, the employee had urgent surgery and now is recovering. Their concern and quick action kept the situation from taking a tragic turn. (00:019)
- Congratulated Gregg Carrington, Energy Resources managing director, who was honored for his service to hydropower with the Pamela E. Klatt Award from the Northwest Hydropower Association. The award recognizes hydropower professionals dedicated over their career to supporting the region’s waterpower as clean, efficient, renewable energy while protecting fisheries and environmental quality that characterizes the Northwest. (02:08)
Service Center open houses, 4-6 p.m.:
- March 18 – Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center, 127 S. Mission, Wenatchee
- March 19 – Cashmere Riverside Center, 201 Riverside Drive
- March 20 – Chelan County Fire 3 station, Leavenworth, 228 Chumstick Hwy
- March 21 – Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, Chelan, 216 E. Woodin Ave
- March 25 – Entiat Fire Hall, 2200 Entiat Way
- March 29 – Northwest Mariachi Festival, Town Toyota Center
- April 1 – Commission meeting, 10 a.m., boardroom
- April 13 – Greater Wenatchee Arbor Day celebration, Walla Walla Point Park
- April 20 – Earth Day celebrations, Chelan and Wenatchee