Centralia Coal Transition Board supports Solar installation for the City of Medical Lake

Centralia, Wash. (July 12, 2023) On April 17, 2023, the Centralia Coal Transition Grants Energy Technology Board entered into a Grant Agreement with the City of Medical Lake to support the installation of a 100kW ground mounted solar system at the Wastewater Treatment Plant owned by the City of Medical Lake. The grant award of $185,000 will be leveraged with additional funding from the Washington Department of Commerce Solar Grant program. The solar project will produce electrical energy allowing for a reduction in electrical charges by approximately 10.8%. This savings will reduce the City’s overall electric bill and allow the city to redirect the savings to capital improvement projects and the needs of the citizens.  

The waster reclaimed by the Wastewater Treatment Plan that this solar project will partially power goes toward maintaining the grounds of the Eastern State Hospital Campus, Lakeland Village Campus, the Washington State Veteran’s Cemetery, and local ball fields used by youth sports programs.

The City of Medical Lake is a small city in the growing west plains community of Eastern Washington in southeast Washington. Incorporated in 1890, the city has an ongoing commitment and goal to upgrade facilities and technology to best serve the community and reduce operating expenses by finding ways to implement sustainable energy sources.

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.