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.