Public Power Announcements

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California

SMUD Stocking El Dorado County Reservoirs with Thousands of Trout

(May 26) As summer starts and folks get anxious to get out and enjoy the outdoors, SMUD (Sacramento, Calif.) is again stocking three Sierra reservoirs with rainbow trout. The fish planting starts in June and runs into August. SMUD will stock 25,000 pounds of fish at Union Valley, Loon Lake, and Ice House reservoirs in El Dorado County.

Surveys say fishing tops the reasons folks visit the Crystal Basin Recreational Area and the trout plants enhance angling opportunities for the public. On average, the fish weigh almost two pounds, including some trophy fish.

SMUD has scheduled six separate trout plantings. The largest of the three reservoirs, Union Valley, will get 9,400 pounds; Loon Lake, 8,100 pounds; and Ice House, 7,500 pounds. Mount Lassen Trout Farms of Payne’s Creek will deliver the fish. The company also stocks SMUD’s Rancho Seco Lake, which annually hosts a very popular trout derby.

SMUD proactively works to improve the quality of life in El Dorado County, where the electric utility owns and operates the Upper American River Project, a system of hydroelectric generation facilities. “Many SMUD employees work and live in El Dorado County and support the local businesses and the tax base,” said SMUD Chief Energy Delivery Officer Frankie McDermott. “Though El Dorado County is outside our service territory, we consider it a very important part of the SMUD community.”

In 2014 SMUD was awarded a new 50-year license by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to continue operating the UARP, which provides nearly 700 megawatts of low-cost, clean, non-carbon-emitting hydropower. The resource provides about 15-20% of SMUD’s energy capacity during an average water year. The fish-stocking effort helps SMUD meet conditions of operating its FERC license for the UARP.

Fishing licenses issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are available for purchase from more than 1,400 license agents throughout the state and can also be obtained online at wildlife.ca.gov/licensing.

 

AMP Offers New Rebates for Used EVs, Forklifts

(May 21) Alameda Municipal Power (Calif.) is excited to launch new rebates and online tools to encourage electric vehicle ownership.

With AMP’s new rebates, residents can earn up to $1,000 back on the purchase of an all-electric used EV. If they choose a used, plug-in hybrid EV, they can get a rebate of up to $500. Income-qualified customers who are enrolled in AMP’s Energy Assistance Program will qualify for an additional $500 for each of these rebates.

AMP is also offering rebates to help lower the purchase price of an electric forklift. Business customers who buy a new class-1 or class-2 electric forklift are now eligible for a rebate up to $2,000.


Oregon

CRPUD Awards Grant to Scappoose Drainage Improvement Company

(May 26) Columbia River PUD (Deer Island, Ore.) awarded an Economic Development Grant for $7,500 to the Scappoose Drainage Improvement Company. The PUD’s board of directors approved the grant request during their May 19 meeting.

The grant will help SDIC recertify its levee according to FEMA requirements. The levee is approximately 10 miles long and serves around 900 landowners across 6,100 acres. Some of the businesses that reside within the district include Means Nursery, Cascades Tissue Group, Michael Curry Design, and many others.

Recertifying the levee prevents the land inside of it from being remapped into a flood zone. If it were deemed a flood zone, flood insurance rates would become excessive and create a financial hardship for the local businesses and property owners. The amount a business’s insurance rates would increase varies depending on its location inside the flood zone.

“It can be up to five times (higher). The minimum we’ve seen is two and a half times. It’s a huge impact,” said SDIC Board Member Gary Wheeler. “It also has an impact on development. It would pretty much prohibit development if we don’t get recertified. The flood insurance is huge.”

Recertification of the levee would allow homeowners, businesses, and farmers to have a secure future.

CRPUD’s Economic Development Grant is designed to promote investment in long-term economic development and growth of business and industry within the CRPUD service area for the benefit of the local community and CRPUD customers. It is available to nonprofit corporations for projects meeting certain considerations and requirements.

This is the second Economic Development Grant awarded by CRPUD in 2020. Learn more about the grant program at crpud.net/grant.


Washington

WPUDA Elects Officers for 2020-2021

(May 24) Commissioners from four public utility districts assumed top leadership positions for 2020-2021 as the Washington Public Utility Districts Association announced the election of its new officers. Skamania County PUD Commissioner Liz Green was elected president after serving as vice president and secretary; Jefferson County PUD Commissioner Kenneth Collins moved into the vice president’s position after serving as secretary; and Chelan County PUD Commissioner Garry Arseneault was elected to serve as secretary. The former president, Chelan County PUD Commissioner Randy Smith, will serve as past president. Lewis County PUD Commissioner Ben Kostick is in the second year of his two-year term as treasurer.

The officers serve on the association’s executive committee and board of directors, providing oversight and recommendations in support of WPUDA’s mission. The new officers assume an important leadership role in achieving the association’s mission to “support, protect, and enhance members’ ability to conserve power and water resources of the state and to provide not-for-profit, locally controlled utility services.”


Utility Responses to COVID-19

Thank you to all of our NWPPA members who have shared their policies and practices concerning COVID-19. The following is a clearinghouse of the news releases we have received this past week. We are sharing these here for your information and as a resource for anyone looking to also implement a similar practice. Please send any releases or office updates to brenda@nwppa.org so we can continue to disseminate this information to our valued membership. For an ongoing list of member utility responses, visit https://www.nwppa.org/utility-responses-to-covid-19/.

Washington

Benton REA Donates $20K to Local Food Banks

(L-R) Tri-Cities Food Bank Executive Director VJ Meadows and Board President Howard Rickard accept a check for $12,000 from Benton REA Board President Mike Freepons.

(May 21) Thanks to Benton REA (Prosser, Wash.) and CoBank, $20,000 is feeding local families.

Benton REA received a $10,000 matching grant from the CoBank Sharing Success program; CoBank is one of the utility’s lenders. Together, the $20,000 donation will help families within the Benton REA member service area, based on the number of co-op members in each region.

Twelve thousand dollars went to the Tri-City Food Bank in West Richland and Benton City, $4,000 to Jubilee Ministries’ Food Bank in Prosser, and $4,000 to Sunrise Outreach Food Banks serving Mabton and Sunnyside.

CoBank’s Sharing Success program doubles the contributions of its customers to the charitable organizations and causes they care about most.

Continued here.


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