PUD Passes Resolution
by David Cole, Herald staff writer
EPHRATA - The Grant County Public Utility District commission passed a resolution opposing changes to Northwest dams or operations of hydroelectric projects that are not science-based or cost effective.
The resolution, voted on during Monday's regular commission meeting, recognizes hydropower as a critical source of renewable energy essential to the Northwest.
The resolution is a symbolic one, opposing breaching of dams in the Northwest, including the four lower Snake River dams.
The resolution requires no action by the PUD or spending of money.
Benton and Franklin County PUDs passed the same resolution several weeks earlier.
Commissioner Tom Flint, founder of the group Save Our Dams, recommended the PUD take a stand on the issue.
Flint vowed to pass the resolution on to the Olympia-based Washington Public Utility District Association for the agency's possible adoption.
The association represents 28 member PUDs and Energy Northwest in legislative and policy processes at the state and federal level.
Commissioners Randy Allred and Greg Hansen criticized the association in the past for not focusing enough of its attention and resources on hydropower-related issues.
In a separate decision Monday, the commission selected a financial consulting group to provide a Cost Of Service Analysis (COSA) to the utility.
The combined firm of Economic and Financial Strategies LLC and Financial Consulting Solutions Group, Inc. was selected, following interviews with three competing firms during the commission's April 23 meeting.
Data revealed through a COSA can be used to ensure customers pay for electricity in proportion to their use of the service and the particular demands they place on the system.
An electricity rate-design process may follow the COSA.
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