With temperatures dipping into the single digits and the demand for electricity peaking, word that Chelan County PUD has been able to bring two of its generating units back online early is good news for the District’s customers.
Unit C6 at Rocky Reach, out of service since mid-August for scheduled maintenance, is now back up and running. The repairs were not related to the repairs that have taken four larger generating units out of service due to a design defect.”
In addition to the units at Rocky Reach Dam that were out of service, unit B6 at Rock Island Dam was taken out of service for engineering tests and brought back into operation on Dec. 5.
The cold weather is increasing the demand for energy and that means energy prices are climbing. By having units C6 and B6 back in operation, the utility is able to capitalize on better energy market prices. Energy prices were in the range of $80-$90 a megawatt hour last week, while at the same time last year the range was $35-$45 a megawatt hour.
All four of the largest units at Rocky Reach are out of service. Unit C10 was taken out of service in March because an oil leak was detected and further investigation found a crack on a stainless steel rod that operates a servo motor. The other three large units were taken out of service Sept. 23 since they have a similar design. Temporary repairs are scheduled for all four, with the first of the four large units expected to return to service by Jan. 31.