Douglas County PUD has a new agreement to provide transmission and distribution lines for Microsoft's new data centers in the county. 

But the arrangement calls for Microsoft to buy the actual electrical power it uses from a third-party. 

Douglas County PUD spokesperson Meaghan Vibbert says the utility will assist Microsoft in finding the power provider. 

"This tries to provide a quality service for Microsoft, while still providing reliable and affordable service for our core residential and small business customers," said Vibbert. 

Douglas PUD won't be supplying the actual power for Microsoft because its data centers will use more electricity than the PUD can comfortably supply. 

Microsoft will be using 180 megawatts of power, which is three times more than what all county residential users consume, and twice the amount of all power usage in the county. 

Wells Dam is the only source of power in Douglas County. It generates a surplus of hydropower, which the county sells on the open market.  

The county says its sales on the open market allows the PUD to keep power prices down for local residential and business customers. 

Vibbert says Microsoft understands what the PUD needs to do. 

"In an effort to continue to be able to continue to serve regular growth in our county, Microsoft has agreed to purchase that power elsewhere," Vibbert said. 

The agreement with Microsoft lasts for seven years - Jan. 6, 2023, to Dec. 31, 2029. 

The PUD specifically wanted the agreement to conclude before 2030, when new requirements from Washington's Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) will take hold. 

Among other things, utilities must be greenhouse gas emissions neutral by 2030. 

Microsoft will have three buildings to house data centers in Douglas County. One of them has already had its grand opening and is about to be up and running, while another one is under construction. 

Douglas PUD built a substation at 875 Urban Industrial Way in East Wenatchee to serve the center which is about to open. The substation was completely paid for by Microsoft. 

The tech giant is also on the PUD's Schedule 4 Power Delivery Service, which has been in place since May 1, 2021. 

It's specifically for customers which exceed 1,000 kVA for six (6) consecutive months over a given year. This schedule is for larger customers that will be using District power lines for delivery of purchased power. 

Monthly Rate: 

Delivery Variable Charge: $0.006 per kWh 

Delivery Fixed Charge: $7.11 per kW of demand 

Integration Charge: $8.50 per kW * 3% * avg. load 

$8.50 per kW * difference between avg. load and peak load 

Additional Charges: 

Customers on this schedule are subject to charges related to actual costs to administer services for the customer. 

Douglas County PUD commissioners formalized the agreement with Microsoft on Monday.

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