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Chelan PUD finances on track with careful spending and advance power sales

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Chelan PUD finances on track with careful spending and advance power sales

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August 21, 2012

(Wenatchee, WA) Second quarter 2012 financial results show Chelan PUD continues on track for meeting the financial principles set in its Strategic Plan. Kelly Boyd, chief finance/risk officer, Monday told PUD commissioners that while results through June were slightly behind budget due to mild weather and late runoff, forecasts are improving and the year-end results are expected to be $3.4 million above budget. Boyd recommended continuing with spending priorities and plans set in the 2012 budget.   Net wholesale power sales revenue, expected to be slightly above the $116 million budgeted by year end, is contributing to the positive forecast. Even though the late runoff is above average, market prices are still held down by the sluggish economy, said Gregg Carrington, Energy Resources managing director. However, the PUD’s hedging program has locked in higher prices for much of the District’s surplus electricity, and net wholesale revenue for 2012 is forecast between $117 million and $120 million.   Also, operating costs are expected to remain within budget for the year.   Long term, the overall positive results forecast at $70 million to $90 million a year are at the level needed to meet the preferences of PUD customers-owners to:

  • Keep rates affordable, with any changes modest and predictable
  • Save for a rainy day
  • Continue to pay down debt
  • Maintain reliable service

In other business Monday, commissioners:

  • Scheduled a special session for a community meeting on Sept. 5 at Peshastin Elementary School to discuss future operation of the Peshastin and Dryden wastewater systems. New measures to protect water quality in the Wenatchee River will require greatly reducing the amount of phosphorus that can be discharged by those systems into the river. In addition, the systems are aging and in need of upgrades, and those costs will have an impact on monthly rates. A letter will be mailed to customers this week outlining the situation and inviting them to the meeting.
  • Heard that all four targets for the level of Lake Chelan were met this spring and summer as the PUD balanced factors including late runoff of 126 percent of average and heavy rainfall from thunderstorms in mid-July. Lake level will be held above the next target of 1,098.7 feet until Sept. 7.
  • Gave early budget approval for the purchase of a new mobile substation in 2013 (capped at a cost of $1.7 million) to make sure the unit, which will replace a damaged 1985 model, will be here in time for winter 2013-14 peak demand. A mobile substation is designed to “plug in” and keep the lights on when there is a problem at a substation or the need to do significant maintenance, which would require an outage of more than a few hours.

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