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TransAlta Coal Transition Board Awards $2 Million to Centralia Community Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

TransAlta Coal Transition Board Awards $2 Million to Centralia Community Foundation – Grant assists Lewis County students prepare for college and careers, part of TransAlta’s $55M coal transition investment into the local community 

Centralia, Wash. (November 15, 2017) – Thanks to a $2 million-dollar grant awarded to Centralia Community Foundation by the TransAlta Centralia Coal Transition Grants Economic & Community Development Board, the Foundation will partner with the Centralia School District and Centralia School Board to build a district-wide evaluation and instruction plan to prepare students for college and vocational careers.

“The vision that the Centralia Community Foundation shared with us is that by supporting and improving the educational system, the entire community will be able to realize the benefits of this investment,” said Mickey Dreher, transition board member.  “This approach has worked elsewhere and the board is excited to be part of such an important community-driven journey.”

Under the historic agreement between TransAlta and the State of Washington to transition the Centralia facility off coal, TransAlta is investing $55 million into the local community and the state of Washington. To date, TransAlta has awarded nearly $3.7 million through its coal transition grant boards.

“These TransAlta funds will make a difference in this community,” State Governor Jay Inslee said. “By investing in local education, options for youth will be expanded.  This dovetails nicely with the new STEM facilities currently under construction in both Centralia and Chehalis. Together we can make a difference for young people throughout this region.”

“We are truly pleased to be able to help transform public education for Centralia students through this grant,” said Dawn Farrell, CEO and President of TransAlta.

The project will launch a systemic approach to preparing students to enroll and be successful in college or vocational careers. The BERC Group will partner and coach administrators to enhance teaching practices, strategies and methods. The TransAlta Coal Transition Board’s $2 million grant will begin by funding the initial assessments and establishing milestones and metrics with the goal to enhance the effectiveness of the new Centralia High School STEM facilities currently under construction.

“The unique role of a community foundation is the ability to create public/private partnerships that bring different entities together for a common vision” said Tim Browning, Vice-President of the Board and Chairman of the Education Committee. “We have seen how successful and measurable that strategy is in advancing education in Chehalis schools. The Centralia Community Foundation was formed to follow the success of the Chehalis Foundation while making specific changes to reflect the unique Centralia population.”

The project is being built off the neighboring Chehalis Foundation effort, which commissioned the BERC Group to evaluate their school systems. To date, Chehalis has seen higher numbers of graduates accepted into colleges with scholarships and classroom improvement across the district.

Mark Davalos, Superintendent of Centralia School District, is excited about the role that education will play in building a stronger community. “The Centralia School District is thrilled to receive any and all assistance to become a better organization of learning. Our challenges are many, but we believe our partnership with the Centralia Community Foundation will support us in providing what is needed to help our students with greater access to college and career preparation.”

The Centralia Community Foundation was formed in June 2016 to enhance the lives of citizens of Centralia by supporting the creation of a highly successful education system. The Foundation recognizes that a vibrant school district is critical to attracting businesses and families to select Centralia their home. The organization taps some of the area’s most optimistic, successful and accomplished community leaders all with the goal of improving Centralia for the generations to come.

Overview of the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards:
Annual payments for the funding boards have been made for the past five years with the last payment due December 31, 2023.  The opportunity to start flowing dollars into projects became effective December 31, 2015.

Weatherization Board ($10M): established to fund energy efficiency and weatherization for the residents, employees, business, non-profit organizations and local governments within Lewis County and South Thurston County; up to $1 million shall be allocated to fund residential energy efficiency and weatherization measures for low-income and moderate-income residents of Lewis County and South Thurston County;

Economic & Community Development Board ($20M): established to fund education, retraining, economic development, and community enhancement; at least $5M shall be allocated to fund education, retraining and economic development specifically targeting the needs of workers displaced from the Centralia facility;

Energy Technology Board ($25M): established to fund energy technologies with the potential to create environmental benefits to the state of Washington.

For more information on the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards visit: http://cctgrants.com.

Centralia Coal Transition Grants Weatherization Board supports energy efficient boilers for Toledo School District

For immediate release

Centralia, (September 13, 2017) The Centralia Coal Transition Grants Weatherization Board is pleased to announce it has approved a grant to help ensure that students and faculty at Toledo Elementary School have a warm and safe environment. The project will replace its obsolete, failing and inefficient elementary school boilers with energy efficient and reliable boilers.

The grant amount of $231,400.00 will be used to replace the 1995 boilers which currently operate at 75-80% efficiency and will be replaced with boilers that provide 85-96% thermal efficiency depending on how much heat is required. The School District will be leveraging the funding dollars with a Puget Sound Energy rebate program. The project is expected to begin June, 2018 and to be completed by September, 2018 but could occur earlier if necessary.

“In reviewing this application, the Funding Board members saw that there was a definite need for the boiler replacement. With the history of operational failure and the difficulty in finding replacement parts as parts are becoming or, are obsolete, the board recognized that the negative impacts could be not only to the school building, but to the education and environment for the children and faculty”, said Lori Schmitt, Weatherization Board Member. “Being able to use this funding along with the rebate will allow the School District to take the worry away.”

The Weatherization Board was formed as part of the 2011 Agreement between TransAlta and the state of Washington to transition the Centralia plant away from coal-fired operations with one unit shutting down in December, 2020 and the second unit in December, 2025.

“A boiler failure could have interrupted the school year for our students,” said superintendent Chris Rust. “State emergency funds weren’t available for this project and local funds have been allocated to other projects. We’re grateful that the Weatherization Board grant allows us to replace the boilers and restore some peace of mind.”

The Toledo School District is a rural public school district that was founded in 1892 and serves approximately 750 students in grades kindergarten through grade 12. Four schools serve the needs of Toledo students where educators and administrators are grounded in the district motto “Each Child, Each Day, Each Classroom”.

Overview of the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards:

Annual payments for the funding boards have been made for the past five years with the last payment due Dec. 31, 2023.  The opportunity to start flowing dollars into projects became effective December 31, 2015.

Weatherization Board ($10M): established to fund energy efficiency and weatherization for the residents, employees, business, non-profit organizations and local governments within Lewis County and South Thurston County; up to $1 million shall be allocated to fund residential energy efficiency and weatherization measures for low-income and moderate-income residents of Lewis County and South Thurston County;

Economic & Community Development Board ($20M): established to fund education, retraining, economic development, and community enhancement; at least $5M shall be allocated to fund education, retraining and economic development specifically targeting the needs of workers displaced from the Centralia facility;

Energy Technology Board ($25M): established to fund energy technologies with the potential to create environmental benefits to the state of Washington.

For more information on the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards visit: http://cctgrants.com

Media Inquiries:                                                          

Email: coaltransitionboards@transalta.com

 

 

TransAlta Coal Transition Board Awards $175k to Tenino School District

July 10, 2017

TransAlta Coal Transition Board Awards $175k to Tenino School District

Grant to help build solar project at Tenino High School, reducing carbon emissions and utility costs  

Centralia, Wash. – The TransAlta Centralia Coal Transition Grants Energy Technology Board announced today it has approved a $175,000 grant to the Tenino School District to support the construction of an 86kW solar project at the Tenino High School. Producing renewable energy, the 86kW solar project will reduce carbon emissions by nearly 60 metric tons per year and cut utility costs, which will allow the District to further invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

The $175,000 grant will be leveraged with funding received from the Washington Department of Commerce to fully fund the solar project.

“The Tenino School District is deeply grateful to the Energy Technology Board and the Department of Commerce for these generous grants,” said Kasey Schiewe, president of the Tenino School District Board. “This solar project will become an important educational tool for our students at Tenino High School and will demonstrate for our community the benefits of renewable energy. The cost savings from generating our own renewable power will help our District in reducing utility costs and fund further school instructional programs.”

“TransAlta and the coal transition grant boards are committed to helping to accelerate Washington’s path to a lower carbon future, and this project adds renewable energy, reduces carbon emissions and will serve as an important educational tool for students in our community,” said Conrad Wieclaw, coal transition grant board member and supervisor, plant engineer at TransAlta Centralia. “We look forward to seeing how this exciting project benefits students, faculty and community members.”

“We are excited to have this solar project at Tenino High School to enhance our science programs by providing a real-life application of renewable energy,” said Dr. Garry Cameron, principal of Tenino High School. “On behalf of the students, parents and teachers of Tenino High School, we want to thank TransAlta, the Energy Technology Board and the state of Washington for making this solar project and its real-life learning applications possible.”

The Tenino School District is a rural public school district located within the City of Tenino. With a staff of 30 the Tenino High School serves approximately 360 students in grades 9-12. After carefully assessing the school district facilities the high school was chosen as it has a new composition roof with very little shading.

As part of the historic agreement between TransAlta and the state of Washington to transition the Centralia facility off coal, TransAlta is investing $55 million into the local community and the state of Washington through its coal transition grant boards. Since January 1, 2016 the transition boards have committed approximately $3.7 million in grants to fund renewable energy, weatherization and energy efficiency projects. Grantees include Centralia College, the Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason & Thurston Counties, Tenino School District, the Historic Fox Theatre and others.

Overview of the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards:

Annual payments for the funding boards have been made for the past five years with the last payment due December 31, 2023.  The opportunity to start flowing dollars into projects became effective December 31, 2015.

Weatherization Board ($10M): established to fund energy efficiency and weatherization for the residents, employees, business, non-profit organizations and local governments within Lewis County and South Thurston County; up to $1 million shall be allocated to fund residential energy efficiency and weatherization measures for low-income and moderate-income residents of Lewis County and South Thurston County;

Economic & Community Development Board ($20M): established to fund education, retraining, economic development, and community enhancement; at least $5M shall be allocated to fund education, retraining and economic development specifically targeting the needs of workers displaced from the Centralia facility;

Energy Technology Board ($25M): established to fund energy technologies with the potential to create environmental benefits to the state of Washington.

For more information on the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards visit: http://cctgrants.com

 

                                                                                   

Centralia Coal Transition Grants Weatherization Board supports Tenino stadium lighting project

For immediate release

Centralia, (May 2, 2017) The Centralia Coal Transition Grants Weatherization Board is pleased to announce it has approved a grant to help light up the Tenino School District Stadium with new light-emitting diode (“LED”) lighting. The project will replace the lighting in the stadium from metal halide to LED which reduces the time and risk spent changing lamps on light poles while reducing operating costs by over 40%.

The grant amount of $181,491.00 will be used to upgrade and improve the reliability of the stadium lighting, support the school district’s energy efficiency goals and to provide an enhanced stadium field atmosphere for students, faculty and event attendees. The improvements are getting underway and expected to be completed by the end of July, 2017.

The Weatherization Board was formed as part of the 2011 Agreement between TransAlta and the state of Washington to transition the Centralia plant away from coal-fired operations with one unit shutting down in December, 2020 and the second unit in December, 2025.

“The Tenino School District is deeply grateful for the Weatherization Board’s support of our stadium lighting upgrade, says Joe Belmonte, Tenino School District Superintendent.  “In addition to the energy savings, this support will have a positive impact on our students and the many community groups that use our stadium.  This grant will pay dividends for many years to come.”

The Tenino School District is a rural public school district that has been in existence since the late 1800’s and serves approximately 1200 students in grades preschool through grade 12. Four schools serve the needs of Tenino students, Tenino High School (grades 9-12), Tenino Middle School (grades 6-8), Tenino Elementary (grades 3-5), and Parkside Elementary (grades Pre-2).

“Improving the efficiency of the lighting in the stadium reduces the energy bill for the school district, improves the quality of lighting for the athletes and protects the environment”, says Mike Lydon, Weatherization Board member. “A mission of the board is to provide funding for projects to improve energy efficiency within Lewis County and South Thurston County. The Weatherization Board is proud to support such a win-win-win project in the community”.

Overview of the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards:

Annual payments for the funding boards have been made for the past five years with the last payment due Dec. 31, 2023.  The opportunity to start flowing dollars into projects became effective December 31, 2015.

Weatherization Board ($10M): established to fund energy efficiency and weatherization for the residents, employees, business, non-profit organizations and local governments within Lewis County and South Thurston County; up to $1 million shall be allocated to fund residential energy efficiency and weatherization measures for low-income and moderate-income residents of Lewis County and South Thurston County;

Economic & Community Development Board ($20M): established to fund education, retraining, economic development, and community enhancement; at least $5M shall be allocated to fund education, retraining and economic development specifically targeting the needs of workers displaced from the Centralia facility;

Energy Technology Board ($25M): established to fund energy technologies with the potential to create environmental benefits to the state of Washington.

For more information on the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards visit: http://cctgrants.com

Media Inquiries:                                                          

Email: coaltransitionboards@transalta.com

 

 

Centralia Coal Transition Energy Technology Board (CCTETB) supports Centralia College solar project

For immediate release

Centralia, (April 4, 2017) The Centralia Coal Transition Grants Energy Technology Board (“CCTETB”) is pleased to announce it has approved a grant to Centralia College in the amount of $189,000.00 to support the construction of a 56kW solar photovoltaic project for the library. The renewable electrical energy produced will reduce CO2 emissions and will help offset purchased power and lower ongoing energy bills for the next 30-40 years.

“The purpose of the Energy Technology Board is to support projects in Washington State that benefit clean energy, air quality or the environment” says Bob Guenther, chair of the board. “It’s exciting for the board to be able to support this solar project. The project not only reduces emissions, it’s sustainable, lowers energy costs for the college, requires little maintenance and will provide enhanced learning for students.”

The grant amount of $189,000.00 will be leveraged with funding the college received from the Department of Commerce in the amount of $151,000.00 as well as Centralia City Light electrical energy incentives, Puget Sound Energy natural gas incentives and college funding.

The Energy Technology Board was formed as a result of the 2011 Agreement between TransAlta and the state of Washington to transition the Centralia plant away from coal-fired operations with one unit shutting down in December 2020 and the second unit in December 2025.

“Centralia College is extremely excited about this project”, says Steve Ward, Vice President, Finance and Administration, at Centralia College.  “Not only is it a great example of sustainability and stewardship, it is a partnership the college has established with the Department of Commerce, utility companies, and most notably, CCTETB who provided the majority of the funding. This will benefit our students and community for years to come.”

Founded in 1925, Centralia College is the oldest continuous operating community college in the state of Washington. The college has grown from the initial class of 15 students, to an enrollment of nearly 4,000 students. Centralia College is also home to the Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy. The Center has been successful in developing partnerships with industry for placement of graduates from the Energy Program, and in securing grants for training and equipment for students.

Overview of the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards:

Annual payments for the funding boards have been made for the past five years with the last payment due December 31, 2023.  The opportunity to start flowing dollars into projects became effective December 31, 2015.

Weatherization Board ($10M): established to fund energy efficiency and weatherization for the residents, employees, business, non-profit organizations and local governments within Lewis County and South Thurston County; up to $1 million shall be allocated to fund residential energy efficiency and weatherization measures for low-income and moderate-income residents of Lewis County and South Thurston County;

Economic & Community Development Board ($20M): established to fund education, retraining, economic development, and community enhancement; at least $5M shall be allocated to fund education, retraining and economic development specifically targeting the needs of workers displaced from the Centralia facility;

Energy Technology Board ($25M): established to fund energy technologies with the potential to create environmental benefits to the state of Washington.

For more information on the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards visit: http://cctgrants.com

Media Inquiries:                                                          

Email: coaltransitionboards@transalta.com