Puget Sound Energy (PSE) and Chelan County Public Utility District announced a new contract for renewable hydropower from two PUD hydro projects on the Columbia River. (audio starts at 01:07:25 on the board recording)
The five-year “slice” contract supplies PSE with 5% of the output from the PUD’s Rock Island and Rocky Reach hydropower projects from 2024 through 2028. The contract complements an existing contract between the two utilities, while generating revenue for the PUD to provide continued rate stability for its customers.
“This contract is part of an overall strategy designed to provide several benefits to customer-owners,” said Chelan PUD General Manager Kirk Hudson. “Ultimately, surplus energy sales keep Chelan County electric rates well below state and national averages, while also protecting customer rates from the risk of volatile markets and variable streamflow.”
The PUD ensures a competitive market price for our customers-owners with the public auction process. Bids are submitted and the PUD selects the highest qualified bidder. The competitive market pricing also allows the PUD to lock in a margin above production costs for the benefit of its customer-owners. PSE secured the contract as the highest bidder in an auction in early 2023.
The contract will bolster PSE’s supply of carbon-free energy, in line with the goal of becoming a “Beyond Net Zero Carbon” energy company by 2045.
“We value our continuing long-standing positive working relationship with PSE and are pleased that this energy will help our state meet its low-carbon policy goals,” Hudson said.