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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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The Archaeology Days event is back!

Oct. 25-26 at the Wanapum Heritage Center Archaeology Days is back to mix learning with fun at the Wanapum Heritage Center after a two-year hiatus during the COVID pandemic. Kids have their own day, Oct. 25, for some hands-on, kid-friendly learning about the customs and crafts of native, Columbia Plateau people, as well as area geology, river ...

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Commission summary, 9/13/2022 — Mastodon fossil sends jaws dropping around commission table. This and more...

"Now for some fun. Show-and-Tell time," Brett Lenz, Grant PUD manager of Cultural Resources told commissioners Tuesday, after he finished what is usually a very routine and subdued quarterly business report. He reached under the table where commissioners were gathered, pulled out a black backpack, reached inside and withdrew part of the toothy jawb...

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Explore Hanford's atomic field… and its secrets

New exhibit at the Wanapum Heritage Center runs through Jan. 15, 2023 MATTAWA —Journey through the Hanford Reach via photography, sound and video to delve into its atomic histories and secrets that enshroud them. The Wanapum Heritage Center's newest exhibit, "Hanford Reach: In the Atomic Field" will take you on that journey from the convenience of ...

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Commission summary, 8/23/2022 — Grant PUD will continue to evaluate X-energy nuclear option

Focus on X-energy will allow additional in-depth analysis about whether to move forward and build Grant PUD will focus on the technology of Maryland-based X-energy in the utility's continuing feasibility analysis of building a small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear energy plant. For the past 18 months, Kevin Nordt, Grant PUD Chief Resource Office...

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Commission summary, 8/9/2022 — Grant PUD to evaluate embankment at Wanapum Dam

Contractor to analyze dam embankment for possible erosion Commissioners heard the details of a proposed, 10-year, $15 million contract with engineering firm Gannett Fleming to examine the interior of an embankment at Wanapum Dam for any potential erosion. The last in-depth dam safety inspection by independent consultants in 2021 concluded...

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Commission summary, 7/26/2022 — Retail energy sales below budget, April-June. Solid future growth expected

Retail customer electricity sales ended the year's second quarter about 2% less than budget forecast, commissioners heard Tuesday. Year-to-date through April, sales are about one-half percent above budget and are forecast to stay strong, longer term. Colder-than-expected spring weather increased energy consumption from residential customers, and hi...

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Call-in code updated for July 26 Integrated Resource Plan hearing

The conference ID has changed for call-in access to the July 26 public hearing on the Grant PUD Integrated Resource Plan. To attend by phone, please call 509-703-5291. When prompted, enter conference code 596 502 173#. The hearing will begin during the 1 p.m. business meeting. Attend the July 26 hearing in person in the Commission Room at Grant PUD...

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Commission summary, 7/12/2022, Hydropower lobby urges Grant PUD to educate lawmakers

Members of the Washington Public Utilities Districts Association (WPUDA) urged Grant PUD commissioners to "speak with one voice" to state and federal lawmakers about hydropower's critical, carbon-free role in keeping the lights on in the Pacific Northwest. Without this resource, the lights go out," WPUDA Executive Director George Caan told commissi...

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Commission summary, 6/28/2022 — Need for solar, wind, natural gas in Grant PUD's energy forecast

Grant PUD commissioners Tuesday learned how the utility is considering options to meet its long-term power needs during an Integrated Resource Plan presentation. By state law, electric utilities must develop a comprehensive plan with five- and 10-year estimates projecting the mix of power generation and resources to meet the needs of their customer...

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Commission summary, 6/14/2022: Quincy-area transmission line routes chosen

Transmission projects will increase electrical capacity in Quincy Grant PUD staff Tuesday presented commissioners with their preferred routes for three new transmission lines that will increase electrical capacity and improve reliability in the ag-and-data hub city of Quincy.The routes are four of the 10 projects comprising the "Quincy Transmi...

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Grant PUD contract crew at work to reduce risk of power outages

Grant PUD contractor Alamon is performing preventive maintenance on Grant PUD power poles to reduce risk of power outages. Work began 6/6/2022 in the Soap Lake area and will continue north through year-end until the upper portion of the county is complete. The maintenance includes testing the poles to ensure they're structurally sound and applying ...

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Commission Summary 5-24-2022: First-quarter forecast shows Grant PUD projected to achieve financial targets for liquidity and leverage by end of 2022

Grant PUD is forecasting that its net income will be approximately $10.9 million less than budgeted, according to a first-quarter financial report given to commissioners during their meeting on May 23. Even with the change in net income, Grant PUD is projecting that it will achieve its financial metrics for liquidity, days cash on hand, debt servic...

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Highlights from the 5/10/2022 commission meeting // Work on secondary embankment at Priest Rapids Dam progresses

Work on secondary embankment at Priest Rapids Dam progresses The cost to build a secondary embankment on the Yakima County side of Priest Rapids Dam will increase $2.6 million to improve the project's quality and safety, commissioners heard Tuesday. The change order to the contract with IMCO General Construction increases the total project cost to ...

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Commission Summary 4-26-2022: Plan approved to relocate Grant PUD headquarters, service centers

Commissioners unanimously gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a plan to relocate over the next decade Grant PUD's Ephrata headquarters and its Ephrata and Moses Lake service centers at a total cost estimate of $266 million. All three buildings need costly repairs, energy efficiency upgrades and more room for current operations and future growth. T...

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