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Grant Recipients

Centralia Coal Transition Grants Weatherization Board partners with the Lewis County Public Utility District for a multi-year funded approach to energy efficiency and cost savings to customers.,

Lewis County, WASHINGTON (July 21, 2020) The Centralia Coal Transition Grants Weatherization Board (“Weatherization Board”) is pleased to announce a grant award to the Lewis County Public Utility District (“PUD”). The weatherization grant award totals $1.2M with payments of $400,000 to be made annually for 2020, 2021 and 2022 to support low income ductless heat pumps and weatherization upgrades, school energy efficiency improvements and community based non-profit energy efficiency measures.  

“The Weatherization Board has previously partnered with the PUD to support weatherization and energy efficiency projects for the local community”, said Mickey Dreher, Centralia Coal Transition Grants board member. “This grant will build off the success of those services and add opportunities to further support local schools with HVAC, lighting and weatherization upgrades and support non-profit community-based organizations. We have been pleased with the services the PUD has reported in the past and look forward to hearing how they continue to serve local households, schools and non-profit organizations.”

In early August, the PUD will share information on how customers can access grant-funded energy efficiency upgrades.

“This grant award will allow us to serve a large number of additional low-income households with space heating/cooling and weatherization efficiency measures that will save customers money through reduced energy consumption and improve overall quality of life for many years to come,” said Matt Samuelson, Power Supply Manager for Lewis County Public Utility District. “Further, we are excited to continue our partnership with K-12 schools to modernize their facilities in ways that result in large-scale energy efficiency improvements and associated cost savings.”

About Lewis County Public Utility District

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.

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.

About Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards

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.

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, 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): 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 Funds Long Duration Battery Feasibility Study,

Centralia, (July 14, 2020) – The Centralia Coal Transition Grants Energy Technology Board (“CCTGETB”) is pleased to announce it has approved a $350,000 grant to TransAlta Corporation to support a feasibility study for a long duration battery storage project next to the existing Centralia Power Plant. The funds from CCTGETB will support the feasibility study in which TransAlta plans to engage the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (“PNNL”) to study the value proposition and benefits that a long duration battery could provide in a strategically located area such as Centralia.

“The Energy Technology Fund supports projects in Washington state that benefit clean energy, air quality or the environment and this potential battery project meets that mission” says Matt Matayoshi, a member of the coal transition board. “The results of the technical and economic evaluation will not only help determine if the project has a local fit but will be informative within the utility industry at a state level.”

“This study is a great opportunity to further expand our understanding of battery assets and the overall support role they could play in delivering essential renewable power to the grid while contributing to the Centralia community which TransAlta has been a part of since 2000,” said Aron Willis, Senior Vice President, Growth. “We are pleased for the support of the Centralia Coal Transition Board in assisting us to explore new technology that could improve the reliability of renewable power generation and support further investments in the community to assist the coal transition.”

The current scope of the study includes evaluating the installation of a 1 MW battery situated next to the Centralia Power Plant. As part of the feasibility study, PNNL will assess a range of power and energy capacities and define the optimal capacities under varying assumptions regarding future policies,  including price impacts of a carbon tax, a 100 per cent renewable portfolio standard in Washington State, or the presence of a Bonneville Power Administration demand response program. TransAlta anticipates the battery will provide a range of services to the grid and assist in understanding the role energy storage could play in the market as Washington State moves towards its renewable energy goals.

The study is expected to take six to ten months to complete and once completed TransAlta would evaluate a decision to move forward with a further investment in a pilot project.

The Energy Technology Board was formed as a result of the 2011 agreement between TransAlta and the state of Washington. This agreement allowed Centralia to plan 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.

About TransAlta Corporation:

TransAlta owns, operates and develops a diverse fleet of electrical power generation assets in Canada, the United States and Australia with a focus on long-term shareholder value. TransAlta provides municipalities, medium and large industries, businesses and utility customers with clean, affordable, energy efficient and reliable power. Today, TransAlta is one of Canada’s largest producers of wind power and Alberta’s largest producer of hydroelectric power. For over 100 years, TransAlta has been a responsible operator and a proud community-member where its employees work and live. TransAlta aligns its corporate goals with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and has been recognized by CDP (formerly Climate Disclosure Project) as an industry leader on Climate Change Management. TransAlta is proud to have achieved the Silver level PAR (Progressive Aboriginal Relations) designation by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

For more information about TransAlta, visit its web site at transalta.com.

About PNNL:

PNNL has developed a portfolio of analytic tools that range from production cost modeling of large interconnects to distribution system analyses that studied control strategies of central and distributed storage systems such as customer-side storage or utility-owned and grid-connected storage. PNNL has evaluated the economic and/or technical performance of energy storage systems for several utilities across the Pacific Northwest, including Avista, Energy Northwest, Eugene Water and Electric Board, Orcas Power and Light Co-op, Portland General Electric, Puget Sound Energy, and the Snohomish Public Utility District. PNNL brings these capabilities and experience to this collaborative study and will help ensure that the funds granted are used efficiently and will provide value to the Centralia community.

For more information about PNNL visit https://www.pnnl.gov/

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 Economic & Community Development Board supports New Market Skills Center Foundation Scholarship Program,

Centralia, (April 5, 2018) The Centralia Coal Transition Grants Economic & Community Development Board (“ECD Board”) is pleased to announce it has approved a grant to the New Market Skills Center Foundation for student scholarships. The scholarships will help to support students from the Lewis and South Thurston County areas who plan to attend trade school, vocational programs or apprenticeship trade programs.The board approved a grant in the amount of $30,000.00 which will fund annual scholarships in the amount of $3,000.00 over a 10-year period. The focus of the scholarship will be for students entering a vocational training program at Centralia College, South Puget Sound Community College, and trade or apprenticeship programs for construction, welding, electrical or business management. The scholarship awards will begin in 2018.

The ECD 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.

“We are pleased to support scholarship opportunities for the New Market Skills Center” says Marc Read, ECD Board Member. “Providing scholarship funds through the foundation is a great way to support young adults in our community and is a key component of the Centralia Coal Transition Economic & Community Development Board mission.”

The New Market Skills Center Foundation was formed in 2010 to raise funds to enable the New Market Skills Center to continue the tradition of providing resources for students attending vocational, trade schools, apprenticeship or academic oriented programs upon graduation from the Skills Center. New Market Skills Center opened in 1986 as an educational venture between local school districts and is a public school offering technical training for high school students.  New Market is a consortium of 10 districts including, Centralia, North Thurston, Oakville, Olympia, Rainier, Rochester, Shelton, Tenino, Tumwater, and Yelm.  

“The funding from the coal transition board for the New Market Skills Center Scholarship program will be a great help to students from Lewis and South Thurston County”, said Ronald Crawford, President New Market Skills Center Foundation.” The board thanks the coal transition board members for approving this valuable program for New Market Students and we look forward to being able to carry out this program.”

Overview of the Funding Boards

Annual payments for the funding boards have been made for the past six 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.

Centralia Coal Transition Board awards grant to Northwest Seaport Alliance to support diesel emission reductions for Washington State,

Centralia, WA (April 2, 2020) The Centralia Coal Transition Grants Energy Technology Board is excited to announce it has approved a $1,000,000 grant submitted on behalf of the Northwest Seaport Alliance to support the installation of shore power connection points for two vessel berths at Husky Terminal in Tacoma, Washington. Providing shore power to vessels while at berth allows them to switch off their auxiliary generators, avoiding the combustion of approximately 10.5 metric tons of fuel per day. The proposed shore power connection system would serve a diverse fleet of internationally flagged container vessels at Husky Terminal.

“The Funding Board is excited to be a part of this electrification effort at the Port,” said Nancy Hirsh, Coal Transition Board Member, and neighboring communities will surely benefit from reducing air emissions.” 

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 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.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) is a marine cargo operating partnership of the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. The NWSA is the fourth largest container gateway in North America and its primary function is to serve as an economic engine for Pierce and King Counties, creating jobs and stimulating trade.  

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 grant to Valley View Health Center,

Centralia, Wash. (May 19, 2020) The Centralia Coal Transition Grants Economic & Community Development Board has approved a $261,000 grant to Valley View Health Center to support free community-wide COVID-19 testing. The community-wide testing will provide public health officials and community leaders with critical information as the community and state move to re-open the economy. The testing project will serve all residents of Lewis County and has three phases which commences now and goes through March, 2021.

Note: Valley View Health Center received funding from another source and the grant paid of $261,000 by the transition board was returned.