Chelan PUD commissioners discussed electric reliability during an inaugural board meeting at the new Service Center and suggested to adopt a five-year reliability goal to meet customer demands and reduce outages in Chelan County.
Chelan PUD is planning to invest in cable replacement, tree-trimming, and new technology to reduce the impact of wildfire mitigation settings to improve reliability. PUD staff has recommended a target to reduce outage to an average of 42 to 67 minutes a year time over the next five years with the investments.
An analysis of a few West Coast utilities of similar size with forested terrain and wildfire risk revealed a range of 65 to 345 minutes of outage time per customer. Chelan PUD is working for 89 outage minutes by the end of 2023.
As per reports, 96% to 98% of Chelan PUD customers were satisfied to very satisfied when the utility averaged 74 to 77 outage minutes per customer.
“Our goal is to create a reliability metric that is achievable, and it should balance cost, risk and performance,” said Distribution Asset Manager Chad Rissman. “We’re at 89 minutes right now, and we want to get back down to the 70-minute range by making investments and improvements.”
Additionally, the commissioners have approved a resolution to not adopt new ratemaking standards in accordance with the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act and a one-time increase from $6 million to $10 million for the Public Power Benefit fund to support five community-minded projects, with capacity for new projects if needed.