Okanogan PUD hears 2023 legislative preview

Solar production, wildlife mitigation bills likely

OKANOGAN -- The county PUD board heard reports and 2023 previews during their last meeting of the year Dec. 12.

Policy Consultant Jason Herbert of Energy Northwest gave a legislative update and preview. The 105-day state session will likely feature bills dealing with solar production and net metering; wildfire mitigation; growth management; electric grid resiliency and resource adequacy; and possibly some changes to climate-focused bills.

In other business:

  • Environmental Coordinator Matt Stevie summarized the construction of the Enloe Dam safety repair and maintenance project. In addition, he gave an update on his participation with the Washington State Public Works Board.
  • Senior Accountant Megan Morrissey gave a quick FEMA update. The nearly $4.5 million still expected from the Cold Springs Fire is under review with local agencies. Other agencies are currently compiling information from the early November snowstorm for possible FEMA relief as well. Rachel McClure, a representative from Rep. Dan Newhouse’s office, was also in attendance to share that her office wants to help move FEMA processes forward.
  • Ron Gadeberg, director of power resources and broadband services, reported that the unusually snowy, cold November led the district to purchase over $1.1 million more for power than anticipated. December has also been more on the buying side than selling so far, putting wholesale power sales under budget for the year. On the retail side, the PUD sold $1 million more than budgeted in October, with more anticipated in snowy November and December.
  • Gadeberg also reported that broadband has 3,860 end user connections as of Dec. 1. Of those, 703 are direct fiber – 55 of those connections were added this year.
  • The board approved the surplus of three unneeded transformers.
  • Future board meeting dates were set for Jan. 9 and 23, Feb. 13 and 27 and March 13 and 27.

 

 

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