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Economic and dam related articles

Plant's Costs Versus Benefits

by Mark Reddemann
Seattle Times, July 10, 2011

Editor, The Times:

Columbia Generating Station is an affordable energy resource for our region. Unfortunately, the article "Weighing plant's costs, benefits" [News, July 3] used incomplete data to show a higher-than-actual average for the facility's cost of power.

Columbia's average cost of power during the last 10 years (2001 to 2010), using a standard, industrywide formula, was 3 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh). Even with debt service included, that average cost of power is about 4 cents per kwh -- still significantly lower than reported.

Of note, Columbia's construction debt would have been paid off next year had we not partnered with the Bonneville Power Administration enabling them to reduce their higher-interest federal debt -- a refinancing partnership that saves ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Furthermore, Columbia's projected cost of power for the next four years will average 3.8 cents per kwh. Besides hydropower, there is not another clean, baseload source of energy that touches that.

Energy Northwest owns and operates a diverse mix of clean-energy resources because that's how Washington state will meet future energy demand and environmental goals. Columbia is a critical part of that mix -- an incredible resource for the Northwest.

With renewal of its license, Columbia will continue producing clean, cost-effective, baseload energy, safely, for another 30 years.

Related Pages:
Weighing Nuclear Plant's Costs, Benefits by Sandi Doughton, Seattle Times, 7/2/11

Mark Reddemann, CEO of Energy Northwest, Richland
Plant's Costs Versus Benefits
Seattle Times, July 10, 2011

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