TransAlta Coal Transition Board Awards $165k to the City of Granger

Centralia, Wash. (November 5, 2019) – The TransAlta Centralia Coal Transition Grants Energy Technology Board announced today it has approved a $165,000 grant to the City of Granger to support the construction of an 50kW ground based photovoltaic solar array that will tie into a well pump main electrical  disconnect located at the corner of 3rd Street and E Street in the City of Granger. This 50kW solar project will produce approximately 66,744kW per year through a net metering agreement with Pacific Power.

The $165,000 grant will be leveraged with funding received from the Washington Department of Commerce Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants Program and the City of Granger to fully fund the solar project. The project will lower energy costs currently being incurred by the well pump and support the city’s commitment and good stewardship to using renewable energy.

“The mission of the Energy Technology Board is to review and fund effective energy projects that will create energy, air quality, haze or other environmental benefits for the State of Washington” said Mickey Dreher, board member. “Installation of solar power systems align with the transition to clean energy and helps combat greenhouse gas emissions which fulfills the mission of the board. In addition, because the project will be utilizing solar modules manufactured in the state of Washington, the city will qualify for the cost recovery incentive payments. A win for the state and a win for the city.”

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.

Granger is a city of 3,945 people located in the Yakima Valley in the State of Washington. The city provides fire, police and other municipal services to city residents and has an ongoing commitment to upgrade facilities and technology to best serve city residents. It is the city’s goal to continue to find ways to reduce operating expense and implement sustainable energy sources where it makes financial sense to do so.

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.