Public Power Benefit Program

Help Chelan PUD enhance the quality of life for customer-owners. Share your ideas!

The Public Power Benefit program allocates funds in community-minded projects -- the best value for the most people for the longest time. Here are some examples:

  • Expanding access to fiber internet
  • Day use parking pass program to Daroga, Lincoln Rock and Wenatchee Confluence
  • Installation of five electric vehicle charging stations
  • Purchasing of seven bronze sculptures for permanent residence at Riverfront Park
  • Modernizing Discovery Center exhibits
  • Internships for persons with cognitive disabilities
Where does funding for the program come from? Surplus power is sold on the wholesale power market, allowing us to pay down debt and reinvest back into our community. Here’s how it works: 

What shall we invest in next? We accept project ideas and requests throughout the year. Investments made under the Public Power Benefit program must fall within the PUD's authority as a public utility. That generally means the project should have some connection with one or more of these categories:

  • Enhancements to existing PUD Parks & Recreation
  • Fiber & Telecom services
  • Environmental protection and habitat restoration
  • Promotion of Electrification
  • Education and job readiness specific to utility services
  • Aesthetic enhancements to PUD facilities

Ask yourself, does your idea support one or more of these community priorities:  

  • Improve economic development?
  • Improve education and job readiness in our community?
  • Enhance environmental stewardship?
  • Meet an unmet recreation need?
  • Support diversity, inclusiveness and underserved populations?
  • Complement efforts of other entities?

If the concept is within our authority, then the idea is reviewed by staff. Ideas will be ranked based on the above community priorities and the highest scoring projects will be taken to our elected board of commissioners for consideration and possible approval. Please note that the Commission is planning to fully fund fiber internet expansion over the next five years. 

Projects should generally by submitted by May 1 to be considered for the following year’s budget and work plan. However, project requests are accepted year round and if funding and resources are available, it is possible that some projects could still be funded after May 1. 

Public Power Benefit Project Application

Questions? Email, and we’ll get back to you.

Public Power Benefit News

Three community-minded projects funded: Riverfront Park, Dryden Wastewater, Loop Trail

by Rachel Hansen | Apr 18, 2023

Chelan PUD set aside nearly $3 million from the utility’s Public Power Benefit Program to advance three projects:

  • Wenatchee Riverfront Park, $1.51 million: This project will build a new splash pad and pavilion as part of a three-phase master plan at Riverfront Park. The PUD and City of Wenatchee have already allocated $4 million. The total cost of the first phase is an estimated $6-8 million. The final design will be finished this year, and construction is slated to begin in 2024.
  • Dryden Wastewater Treatment Plant, $670,000: This project will replace the original treatment facility to meet modern water quality standards. The $5.67 million project will be funded with a combination of grant funding, a loan from the Department of Ecology and previous PPB funds. Construction is underway and is scheduled for completion in 2024.
  • Apple Capital Loop Trail, $800,000: An extension of the Loop Trail to the Service Center at Olds Station will provide public access to a riverfront viewing area with cultural interpretive sites, including the Michael Horan House Historic Site. The project is scheduled for completion in 2025.

The Public Power Benefit Fund uses revenues from surplus energy sales to support community-minded projects. The Board of Commissioners plan to allocate $6 million annually for 2023 and 2024. (Audio starts at 00:11:20 on the board recording.)

About $3 million was already designated for a half dozen projects in 2023, including expansion of Chelan PUD’s broadband network and sport court improvements at Walla Walla Point Park.

In other news, commissioners:

- Heard a report about a schedule change in Customer Relations. The payment counter at the PUD’s Wenatchee lobby and customer account support via phone will be temporarily unavailable on Wednesdays for staff training and system improvements, starting May 3. Customers have many options to pay monthly utility bills, including the new Powerpay kiosks at PUD offices in Wenatchee, Chelan and Leavenworth.

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Here for you, providing the best value for the most people for the longest time –