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.