Washington State’s Douglas County Public Utility District No. 1 and Oregon-based investor-owned utility Portland General Electric (PGE) recently signed a five-year power purchase agreement under which PGE will be supplied with up to 160 megawatts of additional capacity from the Wells Hydroelectric Project on the Columbia River north of Wenatchee, Wash.
The agreement also provides Douglas County PUD with PGE load management and wholesale market sales services.
The Wells Hydroelectric Project is the chief generating resource for the Douglas County PUD, the project's owner and operator.
The Wells Project can generate up to 840 MW of electricity, substantially more power than is used in Douglas County. Revenues from wholesale power sales to other utilities support PUD operations and help keep electricity prices low for area residents and businesses.
Beginning in January 2021, the five-year agreement is expected to contribute between 100 and 160 MW toward a roughly 250-MW power capacity need that PGE identified in its 2019 Integrated Resource Plan. The Oregon Public Utility Commission approved the plan in March 2020.
The PGE-Douglas County PUD partnership “helps pave a path for Oregon and the Northwest to make progress toward achieving their decarbonization goals while maintaining reliability with on-call hydro power when customers need it,” PGE noted.