Seattle.gov Home Page
Seattle.gov This Department
Link to Seattle City Light Home Page Link to Seattle City Light Home Page Link to Seattle City Light About Us Page Link to Seattle City Light Contact Us Page
Lighting Seattle since 1905 Jorge Carrasco, Superintendent
Ross Dam

Current
SCL News Releases

Since January 2003


Archived
SCL News Releases

Prior to January 2003


Seattle City Light Newsroom

City of Seattle News Releases

News Release
  For Immediate Release: 5/4/2000
  Contact: Bob Royer,
Phone: (206) 615-0050
Pager:
Email: bob.royer@ci.seattle.wa.us
 
  Sale of Centralia Coal-Fired Power Plant Means Commitment to Cleaner Energy
 

Seattle - Seattle officials said today that Seattle City Light's today's sale of its eight percent share in the Centralia Coal-Fired Power Plant represents a commitment to a cleaner energy future.

"We are moving toward a future with more green and renewable power sources," said Gary Zarker, City Light Superintendent. Zarker cautioned, however, that this future that is not without risk. "The marketplace for electricity is more volatile today and the sale of our share in the plant means we'll be in the market more often. Developing new green resources also carries risk. We're on the right path, but we should not mistake it as the easy path."

The coal mine and steam generating plant in Centralia started generating energy in 1971. At the time, its emissions technology was state of the art, but in recent years it lagged behind and became the largest source of sulpher dioxide in the Puget Sound area. The ownership group, led by the Portland-based private utility Pacificorp, decided to offer the plant for sale in 1998. The new owner the Canadian energy company TransAlta. The new owners will be required to significantly upgrade the pollution control systems. The purchase price was US$554 million.

"Our choice was to invest heavily in an old coal plant or turn toward new renewables and cleaner sources of electricity," said Margaret Pageler, Seattle City Council President and the council's Energy Committee chair when the decision was made to sell Seattle's share. "While the plant is relatively cheap compared to other prices in the region, we think this is a good economic and strategic choice for the long run."

The City of Seattle has made a commitment to an electricity future that is "carbon-neutral." This means that City Light's energy generation will create no net emissions of greenhouse gasses. In a resolution passed last month concurrent with Earth Day, the City strengthened its commitment to green resources. The new energy will come from conservation, new renewables such as wind, geothermal, solar and landfill gas, or existing electricity produced without burning of fossil fuel. If fossil fuel use is necessary, the City will offset the emissions through other measures such as forest protection.

The Mayor and City Council will be making several decisions over the next few months on the sources of its new energy. About a third of City Light's existing energy supply is in play as the utility seeks to replace the electricity from Centralia and from the expiration of its current contract with the Bonneville Power Administration and other power supply agreements.

City Light's update of its Strategic Resources Plan will call for substantial additional supplies of non-hydro renewable electricity such as wind, solar, landfill gas and geothermal. The utility's internationally recognized conservation program may also be expanded.





 

Current
SCL News Releases

Since January 2003


Archived
SCL News Releases

Prior to January 2003


Seattle City Light Newsroom

City of Seattle News Releases

Click here for more contact information! Customer Service
Call (206) 684-3000


The Seattle City Light Web Team:

Seattle City Light -- 700 5th Avenue, Suite 3200, Seattle, WA 98104-5031 -- 206.684.3000
Mailing address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 3200, P.O. Box 34023 Seattle, WA 98124-4023