Energy Briefs – December 2020

Utility-scale solar project planned for Richland

Energy Northwest and Tucci Energy Services will develop a 75MW, utility-scale photovoltaic solar project on a 300-acre site north of Richland.

Energy Northwest signed a letter of intent to lease the site to Tucci, which will develop what is billed as Washington’s largest utility scale solar project.

Construction is projected to begin in spring 2022. Potelco Inc. of Sumner will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor. Tucci is actively marketing the power to customers.

The site is part of the 1,641 acres of from Hanford land transferred by the U.S. Department of Energy to the Tri-City Development Council to support local economic development in 2015.

TRIDEC transferred 300 acres to Energy Northwest in 2016 and the balance to the Port of Benton and city of Richland.

The Tucci site is adjacent the new Horn Rapids Solar, Storage and Training project, another Energy Northwest/Tucci partnership.

Colville Tribes, Franklin PUD make deal for substation

The Franklin County Public Utility District has agreed to lease a Pasco site owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation for a new substation.

The two entities signed a letter of intent for a long-term lease for between five and seven acres. Terms have not been set.

The tribe bought Pasco property in 2019 as part of its efforts to recognize the area as the homeland of the Palus, one of the 12 Tribes in the Colville Confederation.

“The Colville Tribes and the Franklin PUD will work cooperatively on this project, which will result in increased electrical service to the citizens of this area,” Colville Tribal Chairman Rodney Cawston said in a release. “The Colville Tribes will continue to be a good neighbor to area residents and assist, in whatever way we can, to support worthy causes such as this. We are very pleased to join with the PUD in this effort.”

The proposed substation will support the King City industrial area, food processors and the future development of the Port of Pasco’s Reimann Industrial Center.

Working from homeand your power bill

Staying home from work and school because of the Covid-19 pandemic may be good health policy, but it is driving up winter power bills.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects a rise in residential costs associated with all the major heating fuels during the cold winter months, driven by more “at-home” activities.

Customers who heat with natural gas will face the biggest hit. A 2% decrease in natural gas prices will be offset by an 8% increase in consumption. For customers that translates to a 6% increase in home heating costs.

The news is good for those who use heating oil as their primary fuel. The cost will actually decrease an estimated 10%.

DOE awards $130M for solar development

The U.S. Department of Energy is awarding $130 million to fund 67 projects to advance solar power research, including a pair based in Washington state.

The University of Washington received $1.5 million to improve photovoltaic device performance. Hugh Hillhouse is the principal investigator.

StorEdgeAI, based in Seattle, received $1.8 million to drive improvements to help utilities meet the goal of 30% of power coming from solar by 2030. Ranjan Gupta is the principal investigator.

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