Washington State’s Chelan County Public Utility District and Puget Sound Energy recently announced a new contract for renewable hydropower from two PUD hydro projects on the Columbia River.
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 said it ensures a competitive market price for its 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.