Centralia Coal Transition Board Supports

Solar installation at the Palouse High School

Centralia, Wash. On April 17, 2023, the Centralia Coal Transition Grants Energy Technology Board entered into a Grant Agreement with the Palouse School District to support the installation of a 100kW roof mounted solar system at Palouse High School. The grant award of $150,000 is leveraged with additional funding from the Washington Department of Commerce Solar Grant program. The solar project will reduce the Palouse School District’s usage at the high school by 54.7% allowing the savings from the electric bill to be redirected to fund capital improvement projects.

The Palouse School District has an ongoing commitment and goal to upgrade facilities and technology to best serve the staff and students. It is the district’s goal to continue finding ways to reduce operating expenses and by finding ways to implement sustainable energy sources where it financially makes sense. The proposed solar project aligns with these goals.

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.