News

Centralia Coal Transition Board awards grant to support Lewis County Clean Energy Revitalization Initiative

(Centralia, December 1, 2022) The Centralia Coal Transition Energy Technology Board is pleased to announce a $1,807,500 grant to Twin Transit to support the installation of Southwest Washington’s first Containerized Green Hydrogen Electrolyzer at the Port of Chehalis. This electrolyzer will provide a reliable source of local hydrogen and establish a statistical and operational baseline. It is anticipated that the micro-size hydrogen electrolyzer will be capable of producing 1,000 kilograms a day (approximately 182.5 tons annually). This project will enable process analysis and data collection, generating information and insight for future hydrogen initiatives. Twin Transit has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the equipment to support this initiative. RFPs are due December 15th with an anticipated award date of January 15, 2023. Construction is scheduled to begin in early Spring of 2023 with a completion date of Fall 2023.

The board members see this grant award as enhancing a project previously funded by the Energy Technology Board to support a partnership between Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Douglas County PUD in constructing a hydrogen fueling station for Twin Transit at the Port of Chehalis. Construction of an electrolyzer near or adjacent to refueling stations at the Port will ensure a close connection between production and distribution, improving hydrogen accessibility, lowering price, and attracting related industry and jobs to the local community.

The Energy Technology Board was formed per the 2011 Agreement between TransAlta and the state of Washington with the intent to fund projects with the potential to create environmental benefits to the state of Washington. This agreement allowed for the Centralia plant to move away from coal-fired operations with one unit shutting down in December 2020 and the second unit in December 2025. TransAlta is investing $55 million into Lewis and South Thurston Counties and the state of Washington through the Coal Transition Boards.

Overview of the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards:

Annual payments for the funding boards have been made since 2012 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.

Coal Transition Board Awards Grant to the Covington Water District

Centralia, Wash. (October 4, 2022) On July 21, 2022, the TransAlta Centralia Coal Transition Grants Energy Technology Board submitted a grant award in the amount of $118,450.00 to the Covington Water District (the “District). The proposed project will convert the existing turbine generator from an induction generator to a synchronous generator to allow the turbine to remain the districts primary power source even when the grid power is lost.

The current turbine generator cannot operate as a backup power source when the grid is lost. Once the conversion is completed the generator will provide a ballast load tank with 50kW immersion heating elements, allow the generator to operate parallel to the power grid, and provide a voltage regulator to allow for synchronous, grid parallel operation. The district anticipates the conversation will be completed October 2022.

The Covington Water District is responsible for providing clean, safe, and reliable water to a 55-mile area in South King County serving residential homes, apartments, small farms, commercial, governmental, schools and medical facilities. The District is interested in providing solutions to issues facing water districts by investigating, investing, and implementing innovative solutions for improving overall facility efficiency and operations.  

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. The company is investing $55 million into Lewis and South Thurston Counties and the state of Washington through the Coal Transition Boards.

Overview of the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards:

Annual payments for the funding boards began in 2012 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.

Centralia Coal Transition Weatherization Board  Supports Energy Efficiency Upgrades at The Juice Box

Centralia, (October 3, 2022) In August 2022 the Centralia Coal Transition Weatherization Board approved a grant award in the amount of $80,145 to support weatherization and energy efficiency improvements at The Juice Box in downtown Centralia, Washington. The building occupied by The Juice Box is over 100 years old and has had failing heating and cooling systems since last winter. With the energy efficiency upgrades and the earlier upgrades for electrical, plumbing, kitchen build out and historic restoration, The Juice Box will provide the local community with a space to gather, host events and provide a comfortable atmosphere to enjoy various activities such as comedy and music shows, trivia nights, family activities and movie nights. The Juice Box opened in August 2021 and occupies a historic building that was once a carriage house in Centralia’s downtown district. For more information on The Juice Box visit https://juiceboxpublichouse.com/

The energy efficient heating and cooling work will be performed by local contractors and anticipated to be completed before the fall season begins.

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 retiring in December 2020 and the second unit in December 2025.

Overview of the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards:

Annual payments for the funding boards began in 2012 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.

Centralia Coal Transition Board awards a $1M grant to Zap Energy

(Grant to support a feasibility study for a fusion energy pilot plant in Centralia, Washington)

Centralia, (September 28, 2022) The Centralia Coal Transition Grants Energy Technology Board is pleased to announce it has approved a grant in the amount of $1,000,000 to Zap Energy, a Seattle, Washington based company to assess the feasibility of siting a Zap fusion energy pilot plant at the site of the former TransAlta Big Hanaford gas plant located in Centralia, Washington. This grant award will be leveraged with matching funding from Zap Energy.

“We are excited to support companies like Zap Energy as they continue on their journey to explore, innovate, and lead us into this new era of energy generation,” says Mickey Dreher, board member. “The results of the feasibility assessment will not only help determine if the project has a local fit but will also provide some insight to determine if there is existing infrastructure and technology at the Big Hanaford site that might be used by a future safe and emission-free fusion pilot plant”.

The assessment will be performed by a combination of experts from Zap Energy and their partners. The three primary objectives of the assessment will be to create conceptual engineering and architectural design drawings; perform preliminary environmental and safety surveys; and engage local, state, and federal stakeholders to gather feedback on this potential first-of-a-kind fusion plant. The goal is to have the assessment completed by August 2023.

“After decades of progress in fusion development, we’re finally at a point where the path to commercialization is becoming a central focus of the industry,” says Zap Energy Vice President of Product Ryan Umstattd. “This project gives us the opportunity to design within a set of real-world conditions, right here in our home state, and will provide valuable insight as we plan for our first power plant.”

The Energy Technology Board was formed as a result of the 2011 Agreement between TransAlta and the state of Washington. This agreement allowed for the Centralia plant to move away from coal-fired operations with one unit retiring in December 2020 and the second unit in December 2025. TransAlta is investing $55 million into Lewis and South Thurston Counties and the state of Washington through the Coal Transition Boards.

About Zap Energy

Zap Energy is building a low-cost, compact, and scalable fusion energy platform that confines and compresses plasma without the need for expensive and complex magnetic coils. Zap’s sheared-flow-stabilized Z-pinch technology offers the shortest potential path to commercially viable fusion and requires orders of magnitude less capital than traditional approaches. Zap Energy has over 75 employees in two facilities near Seattle and is backed by leading financial and strategic investors.

https://www.zapenergyinc.com/

About Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards

Overview of the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards:

Annual payments for the funding boards have been made since 2012 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.

Centralia Coal Transition Board Awards $1.46M Grant to Lewis County Public Utility District

Grant Supports Weatherization/Energy Efficiency upgrades for local families, schools, and non-profit organizations

Centralia, (August 31, 2022) The Centralia Coal Transition Grants Weatherization Board (“Weatherization Board”) is pleased to announce a grant award to the Lewis County Public Utility District (“District”). The weatherization grant award totals $1,460,000.00 which will be paid over a three-year period commencing in 2022. This is the fourth grant approved by the Weatherization Board to support local weatherization and energy efficiency services provided by the District to Lewis County families, schools, and non-profit organizations.

The Weatherization Board approved a $1.6M grant award to the District back in 2017 to supplement their energy efficiency programs and to leverage existing resources. Since the initial grant the board has approved an additional $2.2M to build on program opportunities and extend services to school districts and non-profit organizations in the community. Hundreds of low-income families have received a no-cost or low-cost ductless heat pump from the funding dollars, resulting in a more efficient way of heating their homes and a reduction in energy costs; non-profits and school districts have benefited from the grants with energy efficiency improvements and lower energy costs.

“The board recognizes the value in the services provided by the District as they are leveraging the funding board dollars with other incentives and covering more community members,” said Lori Schmitt, funding board member. “This most recent grant will target 160 or more low-income ductless heat pumps and at least 50 weatherization projects through 2024 and, target as many as 10 grant awards per year to community based non-profit organizations throughout Lewis County for energy efficiency improvements in their facilities.”

The Weatherization 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. The Mission of the Weatherization Board is to provide funding of projects to improve energy efficiency and weatherization within Lewis County and South Thurston County.

 “The funding provided by the Weatherization Board will allow us to continue providing meaningful impact in our community by reducing energy burden for vulnerable populations. Additionally, the award means we can continue to help local non-profit organization and school districts improve the efficiency of their facilities, resulting in improved services to the community,” said Jacob Henry, Business Services Manager. “The partnership with the Weatherization Board has provided countless positive impacts on our community, and we are excited to continue those successes through 2024.

Lewis County PUD is a community-owned, locally governed utility providing power services and telecommunications infrastructure to approximately 33,000 customers throughout most of Lewis County and adjacent communities. The District maintains an Energy Services department that offers customers a variety of residential, commercial, and industrial energy efficiency programs, including free energy audits, which help customers understand their energy usage, and what options they may be able to implement to reduce that usage.

Overview of the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards:

TransAlta’s commitment to invest $55M into the funding boards will be satisfied in December 2023.

Weatherization Board ($10M; annual payment $833,333.33): established to fund energy efficiency and weatherization for the residents, employees, businesses, 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; annual payment $1,666,666.67): 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; annual payment $2,083,333.33): 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

For information on the PUD’s grant program, and whether you may qualify for incentives, please contact the District’s energy services department at (360) 345-1493, or energyservices@lcpud.org