Columbia Generating Station
by Kevin Randolph
Columbia Generating Station, a nuclear plant near Richland, Washington, owned and operated by Energy Northwest, set a new monthly generation in December by producing 867 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.
The previous record of 860.8 million net kilowatt-hours was set in January 2016.
Alex Javorik, Energy Northwest's vice president for engineering, said that recent plant upgrades and the performance of staff enabled the record-breaking generation.
"This is a direct result of a high-performing team that continues to work safely and effectively," Javorik said. "That's what this record is all about."
Columbia also operates more efficiently during the cold winter months. The plant operated at a 104.4 percent capacity factor during December.
Capacity factor is based on the maximum quantity of electricity the plant could deliver to the grid at the most restrictive time of the year, which is summer for thermal power plants. Columbia's record for July generation, set last year, is nearly 856 million kilowatt-hours, approximately 11 million kilowatt-hours less than December's total.
The nuclear plant set annual generation records in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016. During its lifetime, it has produced more than 240 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.
With 1,207 megawatts of gross capacity, Columbia Generating Station is the third largest generator of electricity in Washington state. The Bonneville Power Administration purchase all of its electricity produced by the plant at cost. Currently, 92 Northwest utilities receive a portion of its output.
Richland Nuclear Plant Sets Generation Record by Annette Cary, Tri-City Herald, 1/4/17
Columbia Generating Station Sets Monthly Generation Record by Annette Cary, Tri-City Herald, 8/11/15
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