Coal Transition Board Awards Grant to the Covington Water District

Centralia, Wash. (October 4, 2022) On July 21, 2022, the TransAlta Centralia Coal Transition Grants Energy Technology Board submitted a grant award in the amount of $118,450.00 to the Covington Water District (the “District). The proposed project will convert the existing turbine generator from an induction generator to a synchronous generator to allow the turbine to remain the districts primary power source even when the grid power is lost.

The current turbine generator cannot operate as a backup power source when the grid is lost. Once the conversion is completed the generator will provide a ballast load tank with 50kW immersion heating elements, allow the generator to operate parallel to the power grid, and provide a voltage regulator to allow for synchronous, grid parallel operation. The district anticipates the conversation will be completed October 2022.

The Covington Water District is responsible for providing clean, safe, and reliable water to a 55-mile area in South King County serving residential homes, apartments, small farms, commercial, governmental, schools and medical facilities. The District is interested in providing solutions to issues facing water districts by investigating, investing, and implementing innovative solutions for improving overall facility efficiency and operations.  

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.