June 26, 2013 / 12:42 PM / in 4 years

TransAlta to sell coal power to Washington's Puget Sound

June 26 (Reuters) - Washington State utility regulators approved TransAlta Corp’s 11-year pact to sell power from its Centralia coal-fired plant to Puget Sound Energy, the Canadian company said on Wednesday.

“PSE is now our largest customer for Centralia coal power,” Dawn Farrell, TransAlta president and chief executive, said in a statement.

In 2011, the Washington state legislature passed a bill confirming a multi-party agreement among TransAlta, lawmakers, environmental organizations and labor representatives that would allow the 40-year old, 1,340-megawatt (MW) Centralia plant to run until 2025 as the state transitions to cleaner fuels.

Under the power purchase agreement, privately held Puget Sound Energy will buy 180 MW of power in the 12 months starting in December 2014. In the following 12 months it will purchase 280 MW. From December 2016 to December 2024, the contract is for 380 MW annually. Volume drops to 300 MW in the last year.

One megawatt can power about 1,000 homes.

TransAlta said the contract, along with existing hedges, means about 35 percent of Centralia’s total available production will be contracted from 2014 until the end of 2020, and about 65 percent will be contracted from 2021 through 2025.

Puget Sound Energy supplies power to about 1.1 million customers in Washington state.

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