PUD 3 Commission Report 7/28/15
Mason PUD 3 Commission Report July 28, 2015
- Bonneville Power Administration Rate Increase Will Have Local Impacts
- Power Situation Statement.
- PUD 3 Community Solar Registration Goes Online August 1.
PUD 3 Commissioners approved payment of $3.2 million in vouchers.
Commissioners adopted Resolution No. 1646, Declaring Electric System Items Surplus. The surplus items include transformers, regulators and capacitors.
Commissioners adopted Resolution No. 1647, Authorizing Submission of an Application for a Community Economic Revitalization Board Grant in the Approximate Amount of $50,000 for the Mason County Business Development Center. PUD 3 is working with the EDC to determine the possible use of the former administration building on Cota Street as a business development center. The grant will fund a study to determine the best use of the facility and the range of program offerings.
Power Supply Report
Bonneville Power Administration Increases for Electricity & Transmission
Matt Samuelson, power supply manager, reported that the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) had issued its record of decision on wholesale electricity and transmission rate increases. Effective October 1, wholesale electricity prices from BPA will go up an average of 7.1 percent, while energy transmission charges will increase 4.4 percent.
Annette Creekpaum, manager, said that BPA’s rationale for the rate increases are based on operations and maintenance of aging infrastructure, fish and wildlife costs, transmission system upgrades and construction, the loss of industrial loads, and debt management.
Creekpaum added that BPA’s increased prices will result in a local increase in electricity rates. Staff will be working with the commission to determine the timing and amount of such an increase.
This is the third consecutive and significant hike in BPA’s wholesale rates. The federal power marketing agency implemented a 9 percent power rate increase in 2013, and a 7.8 percent increase in 2011.
Scott Corwin, Public Power Council executive director, said in a news release issued to PUD 3 that his group is concerned about the situation. “This is a significant increase in wholesale power rates on top of large increases in the prior three rate periods. Seeing this increase in costs every other year is a notable hit to utilities and the consumers they serve in the region.”
Mason PUD 3 Power Situation Statement
Samuelson presented commissioners with the power situation statement for June 2015.
June was 59 percent warmer than 2014. Through the first six months of the year, temperatures have been about 14 percent warmer than the same period last year.
In June PUD 3 purchased 42,902 MWh of electricity to serve local customers’ energy needs. That is compared to 41,139 MWh of electricity purchased during the same period in 2014, an increase of 4.1 percent. Through the first six months of the year, the PUD purchased 331,085 MWh of electricity to serve local customers’ energy needs. This is compared to 376,031 MWh of electricity purchased during the same period in 2014, a decrease of 12 percent.
PUD 3 paid $1.7 million during June for wholesale energy purchases, compared to $1.6 million for the same period in 2014; an increase of 5.2 percent. Through the first six months of the year, the PUD has paid $13.4 million for wholesale energy purchases, compared to $13.9 million during the same period in 2014, a decrease of 3.5 percent.
The PUD spent $97,862 in June on “Renewable Energy Credits” to meet its obligations under the Washington State Energy Independence Act (Initiative-937). Samuelson said that the cost of complying with the law will increase in 2016. The percentage of “qualifying renewable energy” sources will jump from three percent to nine percent. It’s expected the change will increase PUD’s purchased power costs by $275,000.
Through the first six months of the year, the PUD has paid $551,104 for renewable energy credits. The solar energy array at the PUD’s Johns Prairie operations center produced 34,470 kWh of electricity in June.
Annette Creekpaum, manager, reported that applications for service are outpacing last year’s activity. Creekpaum said through June 2015, 836 applications had been submitted. That’s compared to 695 at the same time in 2014.
Creekpaum said registration for Mason PUD 3’s community solar project will go online August 1.
- The program will allow customers to purchase shares in a 75-kilowatt solar array constructed by PUD 3.
- The arrangement would allow participants to benefit from the Washington State renewable energy incentive; to receive a billing credit once per year for the electricity generated by their share of the solar array; and PUD 3 would receive renewable energy credits from the project to count against the requirements of the state’s Energy Independence Act.
- The solar panels will be placed on one of the shop buildings at the PUD’s Johns Prairie operations center.
- Payback on the project is expected within three to four years with the Washington State incentive.
The next PUD 3 commission meeting is August 11, 2015 at 10:00 AM in the PUD auditorium at 2621 E Johns Prairie Road, Shelton.