The Grant County PUD is considering a move to expand its sources of energy beyond hydropower as demand increases.

The PUD noted in a statement Thursday that state law requires electric utilities to develop five- and 10-year plans with a mix of power sources to meet the needs of their customers.

It used a computer modeling service to come up with a plan moving forward.

"Grant PUD used a computer modeling service to develop a proposed Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) that looks at projected growth in the county's demand for electricity, requirements of the state's Clean Energy Transformation Act, renewable portfolio standards, the risk of low-water flows in the Columbia River, changing power markets, adequacy of power resources, how power would be delivered and the least-expensive, robust solution," the PUD said in its statement.

The modeling shows Grant PUD will need additional power sources by 2025, and recommended solar, wind and natural gas as options to keep up with demand.

"While carbon-emitting natural gas power carries a penalty that would be imposed by the state, limited amounts of it when every other generating resource is inadequate could still prove to be a viable option," the utility said.

The Grant PUD will hold a public hearing on those option later this month - on July 26 at 1 p.m. in the Commission Room of the Ephrata PUD building at 30 C Street.


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