Energy Northwest paid a record amount of state taxes Monday for electricity generation in a year when its nuclear plant near Richland had a refueling outage.
Energy Northwest paid almost $4.4 million in “privilege” taxes to the state for the privilege of generating electricity in the state. Last year, when there was no refueling outage, Energy Northwest paid $4.5 million in taxes.
Almost 45 percent of that money goes to the state school funds and about 10 percent goes to the state general fund.
The remainder, about $1.95 million, goes to local governments within 35 miles of Energy Northwest’s Richland headquarters.
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That includes the counties of Benton, Franklin, Grant, Yakima and Walla Walla; the cities of Richland, Kennewick, Pasco, Benton City, Prosser, West Richland, Connell, Mesa, Grandview, Sunnyside and Mabton; and some fire and library districts.
The Columbia Generating Station near Richland shuts down for refueling every two years. The plant’s efficiency has been improved since the 2011 outage, when extensive maintenance was done during an extended shutdown to replace the plant’s condenser system.