Chelan County PUD unveils new hydropower contract with Puget Sound Energy

Washington State’s Chelan County Public Utility District and Puget Sound Energy (PSE) on April 27 unveiled a new contract for hydropower from two PUD hydro projects on the Columbia River.

The five-year contract supplies PSE with 5% of the output from the PUD’s Rock Island and Rocky Reach hydropower projects from 2022 through 2026.

The contract complements an existing contract between the two utilities, while generating revenue for the PUD to provide continued rate stability for its customers, Chelan said.

PSE secured the contract following a competitive bidding process in the first quarter of 2021.

Chelan noted that 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, while also supporting Washington state’s Clean Energy Transformation Act goals.

Chelan PUD in March said that it is evaluating its strategies to sell carbon-free, surplus power as long-term energy output contracts expire over the next decade.

Chelan PUD General Manager Steve Wright on March 15 presented a plan that would support more economic growth locally, while also allowing the PUD to capitalize on favorable market conditions, the PUD said.