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Commission highlights, 5/9/2023


$75 million package of electric system upgrades nears completion

An approximately $75 million package of electric-system upgrades over 10 sites around Grant County will be complete by late next year to reduce outage times and increase the electric supply for residential, businesses and industrial growth.

Grant PUD Project Manager David Klinkenberg gave commissioners an update Tuesday.

The projects, which are known collectively as “Design Build 2,” include five new substations, upgrades to existing substations and the new, 10-mile, 115 kV Red Rock transmission line to increase the electric supply to Royal City.

Six of the 10 projects are more than 60% complete. Four are already energized and serving customers in the Quincy, George and Royal City areas.

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Commission recap, 4/25/2023 — Preventive maintenance paying off in reduced outage times. More...

An invigorated focus on preventive distribution-system maintenance appears to be yielding a much lower total outage time, systemwide, Managing Director of Power Delivery Ron Alexander, told commissioners, Tuesday.

Since total outage time peaked in June 2022 at more than 130 minutes, total outage time dropped below the 100-minute target in August 2022 and continued plummeting downward to less than 70 minutes in November 2022. It has remained well below target ever since. Likewise, average outage duration per Grant PUD customer is also well below the target of .75%, Alexander said.

Crews have been working to replace aged poles, and pole components blamed for pole fires. They’ve also worked on improving “power quality” by updating equipment to ensure voltage remains within acceptable parameters even on the longer distribution lines.

“The improvement I’ve seen over the last 2-3 years — how things have been realigned and repositioned — it’s just brought the bar up higher,” said Commissioner Larry Schaapman, referring to the entire Power Production team. “As a commissioner I couldn’t be more pleased and more proud about what you guys are doing.”

See the full presentation on pages 43-62 of the presentation materials. Hear the full discussion at 1:29:41 on the commission audio.


Commissioners also:

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Commission recap, 4/25/2023 — Preventive maintenance paying off in reduced outage times

An invigorated focus on preventive distribution-system maintenance appears to be yielding a much lower total outage time, systemwide, Managing Director of Power Delivery Ron Alexander, told commissioners, Tuesday.

Since total outage time peaked in June 2022 at more than 130 minutes, total outage time dropped below the 100-minute target in August 2022 and continued plummeting downward to less than 70 minutes in November 2022. It has remained well below target ever since. Likewise, average outage duration per Grant PUD customer is also well below the target of .75%, Alexander said.

Crews have been working to replace aged poles, and pole components blamed for pole fires. They’ve also worked on improving “power quality” by updating equipment to ensure voltage remains within acceptable parameters even on the longer distribution lines.

“The improvement I’ve seen over the last 2-3 years — how things have been realigned and repositioned — it’s just brought the bar up higher,” said Commissioner Larry Schaapman, referring to the entire Power Production team. “As a commissioner I couldn’t be more pleased and more proud about what you guys are doing.”

See the full presentation on pages 43-62 of the presentation materials. Hear the full discussion at 1:29:41 on the commission audio.


Commissioners also:

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Commission recap, 4/11/2023 — Grant PUD recreation-area visitor survey to launch in May

 Grant PUD recreation-area visitor survey to launch in May Grant PUD employees will fan out this summer to gather feedback, face-to-face, from the true experts in the utility's 19 Columbia River recreation areas — the 500,000 visitors who camp, fish, picnic, swim, golf or otherwise enjoy them. Manager of License Compliance and Lands Services S...

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Grant PUD and Obsidian Renewables to collaborate on developing hydrogen plant

Grant PUD and Obsidian Renewables announced a Joint Development Agreement for a hydrogen solution on April 6, 2023. Download PDF File Here

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Pyper, Ehrman fill top-management posts at Grant PUD

 Proven managers, skilled leaders and longtime employees Julie Pyper and Ty Ehrman have joined Grant PUD's executive management team. Pyper serves as Chief Administrative Officer and Ehrman as the Chief Customer Officer. "Julie's and Ty's skills and expertise will continue to be on full display, and we are excited to see them deliver positive ...

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Commission recap, 3/28/2023 — Public workshop on proposed transmission line set for April 12

Commissioners, meeting Tuesday at Grant PUD's Hydro Office Building near Wanapum Dam, again heard from Grant County residents who oppose the route of a proposed new transmission line from the Wanapum Dam Switchyard near Beverly to the Mountain View Substation in western Quincy. The 230-kilovolt line, which is necessary to increase the electrical su...

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Commission recap 2/28/2023

At their Feb. 28 meeting, Grant PUD commissioners: — Received an update from the Enterprise Project Management Office on the latest successes, that include: Additional training/certification for project-management staff members. The upgrades on the fifth turbine/generator unit at Priest Rapids Dam are ahead of schedule due to clear communication an...

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Commission recap, 2/14/2023 — Grant PUD studying bill that would regulate service cut-offs. More...

Grant PUD and other utility companies throughout the state are closely monitoring House Bill 1329 and Senate Bill 5366 as they move through the state legislature. The companion bills establish statewide protections against power and water disconnects for non-payment during high heat days and were introduced to the legislature at the request of the ...

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Grant PUD Announces Fiber build-out areas for 2023

EPHRATA – Grant PUD will expand its high-speed, fiber-optic telecommunication service to more than 1,400 customers in 2023 as part of a county-wide buildout project. The areas slated for fiber buildout include: Warden Area Completion (Part of the 2022 delayed by supply issues, weather and permits.) Rural area north, east and south of Quincy (Part o...

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Commission recap, 1/24/2023 — Grant PUD continues to weigh options to increase power supply. More...

As Grant County continues to grow, so does the demand for power. A team from Grant PUD, led by Chief Resource Officer Kevin Nordt, has been working on a plan for when power needs exceed the projected output from the utility's dams and other resources. Grant PUD expects that it will need to regularly blend in new power resources as early as 2025 dur...

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Commission recap, 2/14/2023 — Grant PUD studying bill that would regulate service cut-offs. More...

Commissioners Nelson Cox and Terry Pyle sworn in for new terms Grant County Superior Court Judge Tyson Hill was on hand in Grant PUD's Ephrata commission room Tuesday to officially swear-in newly re-elected Commissioner Nelson Cox to a second, four-year term on the commission and Commissioner Terry Pyle to his first popularly elected six-year term....

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Commission recap 1/10/2023 -- Commissioners Nelson Cox and Terry Pyle sworn in for new terms


Grant County Superior Court Judge Tyson Hill was on hand in Grant PUD’s Ephrata commission room Tuesday to officially swear-in newly re-elected Commissioner Nelson Cox to a second, four-year term on the commission and Commissioner Terry Pyle to his first popularly elected six-year term.

Cox, a retired potato farmer from Warden, represents District B-At Large. Pyle was appointed by commissioners in October 2021 to fill the remainder of the then-vacant District 2 position. Voters in November gave Pyle another six years. Pyle teaches business and economics courses at Big Bend Community College.

Commissioners chose board officers at their Dec. 15, 2022 meeting. This year, Commissioner Cox will be board president, Commissioner Tom Flint, vice president and Commissioner Terry Pyle, secretary. Commissioners Larry Schaapman and Judy Wilson round out the board.

Hear the swearing-in at 2:52:37 on the commission audio.


Recreation visitors survey back this year after COVID hiatus

Grant PUD is again launching its in-person survey of visitors to the utility’s Columbia River-recreation areas to gauge visitor satisfaction with amenities and overall experience.

“This is very, very useful date for us,” Manager of License Compliance & Lands Services Shannon Lowry told commissioners Tuesday of the survey.

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Commission recap, 4/25/2023 — Preventive maintenance paying off in reduced outage times

New rate will add approximately $3.24 to the monthly household bill


EPHRATA — In a measure to help Grant PUD withstand the impact of inflation, Grant PUD's commissioners on Dec. 13 approved a plan for new electricity rates in 2023. The new rates take effect April 1.

This is the first power rate increase for Grant PUD customers since 2018. The overall increase of 3% will be allocated partly on Grant PUD's cost to serve each rate group. The 3% increase and careful financial planning will help the utility withstand the 8.7% impact of inflation to its 2023 budget, which was approved by commissioners in November.

The new rates mean a typical residential customer using 1,700 kilowatt-hours in a month will pay an additional $3.24 a month. By comparison, a large industrial customer with an average monthly usage of 20 million-kilowatt hours would see an increase of $12,600 a month.

"No one likes rising costs," stated commission President Judy Wilson after the meeting. "This increase is necessary for us to try to keep pace with inflation while at the same time continuing to provide our vital services to our growing county."

Grant PUD's proposed all-in Residential power rate of 5.8 cents per kilowatt hour is much lower than the average Washington residential rate of 10.19 cents per kilowatt-hour and the average United States rate of 14.88 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Each rate will increase by the following percentage:

Customer type                                                              % increase
Residential (1)……………………..........................………………. 3.40
General Service (2)………………………………………………..……. 3.40
Irrigation (3)………………………………………………..……………… 3.40
Street lighting (6)…..……….…………………………....……………. 3.40
Large General (7)……………………………………..…………......... 3.40
Industrial (14)……………………………………………..……….…….. 4.35
Large Industrial (15)………………………………………..………….. 1.75
Agricultural Food Processing (16).………………..……..……….. 4.35
Agricultural Food Processing Boiler (85)………..….……....….. 4.35



Desplázase hacia abajo para leer en español el susodicho acerca del incremento de las tarifas eléctricas

Commissioners also:

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Commission Recap, 12/13/22 — Electric-rate increase approved for 2023

EPHRATA — In a measure to help Grant PUD withstand the impact of inflation, Grant PUD’s commissioners on Dec. 13 approved a plan for new electricity rates in 2023. The new rates take effect April 1.

This is the first power rate increase for Grant PUD customers since 2018. The overall increase of 3% will be allocated partly on Grant PUD’s cost to serve each rate group. The 3% increase and careful financial planning will help the utility withstand the 8.7% impact of inflation to its 2023 budget, which was approved by commissioners in November.The new rates mean a typical residential customer using 1,700 kilowatt-hours in a month will pay an additional $3.24 a month. By comparison, a large industrial customer with an average monthly usage of 20 million-kilowatt hours would see an increase of $12,600 a month.

“No one likes rising costs,” stated commission President Judy Wilson after the meeting. “This increase is necessary for us to try to keep pace with inflation while at the same time continuing to provide our vital services to our growing county.”Grant PUD’s proposed all-in Residential power rate of 5.8 cents per kilowatt hour is much lower than the average Washington residential rate of 10.19 cents per kilowatt-hour and the average United States rate of 14.88 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Commissioners also:

-- Heard from Tom Dresser, manager of Fish, Wildlife and Water Quality, that Grant PUD has secured a contract with Irrigation Technology and Control, Inc. of East Wenatchee to drill much-needed wells to increase the supply of water needed for fish and human use at the utility’s Carlton Acclimation Facility in Okanogan County near the community of Carlton. Search for a contractor began prior to the COVID pandemic.Methow River has naturally migrated away from the facility’s water intake, Dresser has explained. This, coupled with severe cold snaps that can occur in the Methow Basin during February-March, has the potential to restrict water supply when summer chinook salmon are at the facility prior to their release into the river during April-May of each year. 

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Commission summary: Budget approved for 2023; rate increase likely

Grant PUD approves $439.7 million budget for 2023 Grant PUD Commissioners unanimously approved the utility's 2023 operating budget during their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 22. One of the top budgeting priorities was dealing with a projected 8.7% cost impact to the utility. With the inflation factor, and initiatives to increase efficiency and improve s...

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Commission Recap: Commissioners approve of "home-grown" talent and local hiring

Grant PUD commissioners expressed satisfaction Tuesday in the efforts of Power Delivery departments to recruit locally to fill new positions and train new recruits and apprentices internally. A recent job posting for fiber network tech apprentice attracted approximately 90 applicants, most from Central Washington, Senior Manager of Power Delivery C...

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Commission recap, 10/25/2022

Grant PUD's hydro plants produce a million megawatt-hours more in 2022 than 2021 An emphasis on teamwork and putting resources to highest priority work has helped Grant PUD generate over a million more megawatt-hours of power in 2022 than it produced in 2021, Ben Pearson, Senior Manager of Hydro Generation explained during Power Production's third ...

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Commission recap, 10/11/2022 — Inflation to add estimated $26.6M to 2023 budget

Highest inflation in a generation adds to capital, other costs "Generational inflation" is having an impact on Grant PUD's financial planning and is reflected in the 2023 budget, which was presented to the commissioners and members of the public during a budget hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 11. John Mertlich, Senior Manager of Financial Planning & A...

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Commission summary, 9/27/2022 — 2023 draft budget; evolving industry rate; more...

​Inflation has an impact on Grant PUD's 2023 budget Grant PUD is not immune to the same inflationary pressures affecting the rest of the U.S. economy. During a presentation regarding the proposed 2023 budget, John Mertlich, senior manager of Financial Planning and Analysis, said that inflation is the most significant reason the 2023 budget is highe...

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