Hanford

Richland nuclear power plant sets another record

Energy Northwest's Columbia Generating Station north of Richland.
Energy Northwest's Columbia Generating Station north of Richland. Tri-City Herald file

Energy Northwest’s nuclear power plant near Richland set a new monthly generation record for the second month in a row.

The Columbia Generating Station sent 860,813 net megawatt-hours of electricity to the Northwest grid, beating the record set last month of 859,619 net megawatt hours. In January it operated above its peak capacity factor, which is the maximum amount of electricity the plant can send to the grid in the summer.

“The work we did during the last refueling outage is having the expected results, increased generation,” Brad Sawatzke, chief operating officer, said in a statement.

Columbia Generating Station’s output increased at least 28 average megawatts after the spring refueling and maintenance outage. The nuclear plant’s baseline average electricity generation now is 1,190 megawatts.

“Every extra megawatt of electricity we can produce goes right to the bottom line,” Brent Ridge, chief financial officer, said in a statement. “That contributes directly to lowering our overall cost of power for the region’s ratepayers.”

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