Centralia Coal Transition Board supports solar for the South Beacon Hill Resilience Hub Project

Centralia, Wash. (February 3, 2022) On April 20, 2021, the Centralia Coal Transition Grants Energy Technology Board entered into a Grant Agreement with the Bethany United Church of Christ (Bethany UCC) to support the installation of a 34.32 kW solar array for the South Beacon Hill Resilience Hub Project. The grant award of $58,446.00 will be leveraged with the Seattle City Light Green Up program. The solar project will lower operating costs and offset electric usage and is designed to help sustain critical loads with recharging battery backup. The project is expected to generate 32,301kW per year and supports the goal to shift the campus off fossil fuels in the next three years.

Bethany UCC, along with Got Green and other partners, are working together on a city wide and neighborhood-based Climate Resilience project which entails providing climate communication and education for the community, building a network of resilience hubs, and building working class leadership.

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.