Chelan PUD commissioners recently reviewed a preliminary budget that is focused on modernizing the Washington State utility’s two largest hydropower projects — Rock Island and Rocky Reach.
The draft budget forecasts a positive bottom line of about $125 million, about 22% higher than the adopted budget last year. That figure reflects the increasing value of hydropower in the energy market, where Chelan PUD sells about 80% of the energy it generates, the PUD said on Nov. 20.
The preliminary 2024 budget includes about $218 million on key capital projects, such as:
- Rock Island Dam modernization, including multiple generating units at Powerhouse I and Powerhouse II
- Rocky Reach gantry crane replacement and trash rack refurbishment
- The last phase of construction at a new Service Center
- Construction of distribution substations in Leavenworth and Chelan for improved reliability
The budget also includes $10 million for Public Power Benefit projects, including the continuation of fiber expansion, parks improvements and preparing the Fifth Street campus for redevelopment in accordance with the community’s vision for the site.
Overall, the PUD’s financial outlook remains strong, with debt well below the utility’s financial policy metrics, it said.
The annual budget priorities are part of a five-year business plan, which commissioners reviewed Oct. 16.
The board is scheduled to vote on the proposed 2024 budget at a Dec. 4 meeting.