Commissioners extend high-density moratorium

Submitted by sheilac on Fri, 02/01/2019 - 15:12

     The Okanogan County PUD Board of Commissioners has extended the moratorium on high-density load customers, in order to conduct additional research and establish a process for bringing such customers into the system.

     In its Jan. 28 regular meeting, the board discussed the various needs for high-density customers, and how unique each situation can be. At this time, the Okanogan PUD has no interested new customers in this category.

     Director of Power Resources Ron Gadeberg said that if a high-density load customer, such as a cryptocurrency mining operation, were to come along, the PUD needs to have a process in place for working with them.

     PUD General Counsel Heidi Appel said the rates need to be “non-discriminatory,” and they are paying attention to all aspects that other utilities are managing.

     General Manager Steve Taylor added that certain large loads fall under other regulations, such as Bonneville Power Administration requirements, and WECC (Western Electricity Coordination Council) compliance. Any rate structures or agreements need to take several factors into consideration.

     The moratorium was extended for two months, with staff set to report back at the March 25 regular board meeting.

     In other business, the board:

     - Held a swearing-in ceremony for Bill Colyar, District 3 commissioner, who was re-elected in November.

     - Appointed designees for industry committees from the board and staff, including naming Commissioner Scott Vejraska as the representative on the Okanogan County Watershed Planning group.

     - Approved Resolution 1680, surplussing a number of old transformers that are no longer useful to the District.