Stehekin Energy Demand

WHY

The electrical system in the Stehekin Valley is unique. A small hydroelectric plant generates power that is distributed via a micro-grid, independent of Chelan PUD’s larger electrical system. As a result, the capacity for electrical generation is limited. Electricity use in the Stehekin Valley is growing, straining the capacity of the PUD’s hydroelectric plant.

When customer demand for energy exceeds the capacity of the PUD’s hydroelectric generator, diesel generators must make up the difference. This increases fuel and maintenance costs, as well as environmental impacts.  If this trend continues, it could eventually lead to higher electric rates. 

Graphic describing power generation in Stehekin and impact of demand on generation

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

On Monday, January 20, PUD staff presented an update about the energy demand in Stehekin. You can view the presentation here, and the audio recording of the presentation here (starts at about 36:00). 

Staff presented near and mid-term challenges to electrical generation capacity in Stehekin and potential solutions to meet peak demand now, and as we anticipate continued growth in the Stehekin Valley in the future. Over the next year, we will continue to work with the Stehekin community, and key stakeholders like the National Parks Service and Chelan County, to evaluate potential solutions and associated costs or policy implications for implementing those solutions.

PUD staff are pursuing one potential near-term solution, lithium ion battery storage, on a faster timeline after receiving grant funds to offset the cost of purchasing the battery. Staff will solicit RFPs in the coming months for this battery storage option in order to evaluate costs and determine feasibility.

We anticipate releasing a Draft Stehekin Energy and Capacity Plan for public comment this spring, as well as holding additional informational drop-in sessions in Stehekin to discuss the details of the plan. 

We Want to Hear From You!

PUD staff held two community drop-in sessions in Stehekin September 13 and 14. If you were unable to attend, please refer to the handout and send Teka Sellers any questions or comments you have.

The best way for us to communicate with you is via email. Please update your email address at chelanpud.org/updateyourinfo.

Questions or Comments?

Send questions and comments to teka.sellers@chelanpud.org or call Teka Sellers at (509) 661-4294.