The nuclear power plant near Richland set a new record in December for electricity generated in a single month.
Energy Northwest said the Columbia Generating Station sent more than 867 million kilowatt-hours of electricity to the Northwest power grid last month, beating the previous record of about 862 million kilowatt hours in January 2016.
Recent upgrades to the nuclear plant and good teamwork by employees were responsible for the new record, said Alex Javorik, Energy Northwest vice president for engineering. Energy Northwest owns and operates the plant.
In addition, the plant performs most efficiently during the cold months of winter. After steam is used to generate electricity, it is turned back into water for reuse. Cold weather makes the cooling more efficient.
Columbia Generating Station is the third largest generator of electricity in Washington state. Its electricity is sold at cost to the Bonneville Power Administration and distributed to 92 Northwest utilities.