Issues and Interests

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PUD News

Commissioners briefed on improved Old Station Substation Site Opportunity

by Kimberlee Craig | Jul 25, 2017
Proposed agreement with Stemilt would bring better service to industrial customers and savings

Chelan County PUD commissioners heard Monday how District planning for increased substation capacity to meet future needs of industrial customers in Olds Station and Stemilt’s expansion plans, came together on a future substation site that would be close to the load center and save on development costs.

Chad Rissman, Distribution director, said the existing Olds Station Substation, built in 1979, is at 90 percent capacity with aging equipment and not enough room to increase capacity at its location next to the Chelan highway near Keyes Fibre. PUD engineers knew a new site was needed. Then a conversation with Stemilt about its future power needs brought an answer.

The family-owned fruit business is expanding operations in Olds Station and has level land available, well located for a new substation near the area’s load center.

“It is a fortunate case of good planning by the PUD, coming together with this opportunity offered by Stemilt, bringing better service to our industrial customers in Olds Station and cost-savings for customer-owners” Rissman said.

The 1-acre site is away from the highway and north of Stemilt’s expansion and has space for expansion capacity, room for the mobile substation if needed and would save on siting and permitting costs. The increased capacity also would improve redundancy, Rissman said.

Stemilt has tentatively agreed to provide the site for a substation in exchange for future capacity of up to 5 MVA (MegaVolt Amp) of the planned 28 MVA.

Rissman said plans are to bring agreements for board action at the Aug. 7 meeting. And, if approved, to apply for permits this fall, start design and build the new substation in 2018-19. 

In other business Monday, commissioners:

  • Were updated on the strategic facilities plan. Shared Services Director Dan Frazier said continued evaluation has eliminated the District’s Hawley Street property from consideration as a potential site for a new operations center. Evaluation continues of a combined headquarters and operations center on the “Horan block” property in Olds Station and looks favorable. Frazier plans to continue evaluation of sites for a new headquarters campus over the next month; continue budget and phasing work; determine staff and contract resources and the contract type for the project. Outreach to PUD employees, customer-owners and the community will follow in August and September.  Commissioners also set $20 million as the initial deposit in the long-term facilities fund they approved in April as part of planning ahead for the needed investments in facilities. 
  • Confirmed guidance on long-term revenue planning and related metrics for the PUD’s retail electric division for financial forecasting after 2019 when the current strategic plan ends. Commissioners agreed with added tracking to create the opportunity to put in place smaller rate changes over time if needed, as customers said they prefer.

  Upcoming events:

  • July 27 – Wenatchee Valley Chamber “Business After Hours”, 5-7 p.m., Rocky Reach Visitor Center
  • Aug. 1 – PUD at Wenatchee’s National Night Out, 6-8 p.m., Centennial Park
  • Aug. 5 – PUD at Columbia Valley Community Health’s Back to School Health Fair, 9 a.m.-noon, Orondo Avenue clinic  
  • Aug. 7 – Board meeting, 10 a.m.
  • Aug. 21 – Board meeting, 10 a.m.
  • Sept. 4 – Labor Day holiday
  • Sept. 5 – Board meeting, 10 a.m. (rescheduled due to the holiday)