More Power: Grant PUD Mulling Over
EPHRATA -- With a steady torrent of people relocating to Grant County each year, Grant PUD officials are once again deliberating on how to compensate for the population growth.
Utility officials say more people translates to more demand for power consumption.
During their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, utility officials informed co-workers, commissioners and the public about the tentative plan leading up to 2025.
By 2025, Grant PUD plans expects to start "blending" new power resources during the peak summer and winter seasons. Leaders at the PUD are currently exploring long-term options for additional power to the grid.
Along with market purchases, the power-supply team is also exploring developing a power purchasing contract with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). BPA sells power generated at 31 federal dams in the Northwest and the Energy Northwest nuclear-power plant in Richland, to regional public utilities. Grant PUD would expect to take delivery of the additional power from BPA in October of 2028. Grant PUD is presently in discussions with BPA and other public utilities in the region over how much power would be available for Grant County customers.
The team is also exploring developing new generating resources in Grant County. One option is a hydrogen power plant. The hydrogen plant could be powered by on-site solar panels and off-peak external power to produce hydrogen fuel to generate electricity on demand. Another option is the development of nuclear power using "small modular reactor (SMR)" technology with X-energy. Nordt said it would take about 10 years from now before an SMR could realistically be online producing power in Grant County. There isn't a timeline yet for the hydrogen power plant, but it could be deployed sooner, he added.
Nordt also explained to the commissioners that the team continues to look at the potential for other viable generating options in Grant County that would also meet the state's clean-energy requirements.
Grant PUD: Protecting Utility's Finances by Bob Bernd, Columbia Basin Herald, 6/3/10
Grant PUD Plans to Curb Power Woes by Lynne Lynch, Columbia Basin Herald, 6/3/10
learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs