Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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Latest Buzz

Visit SnoPUD for all the latest information about what’s going on at the utility, and see what we’ve been up to.

Here you will find press releases, special reports, our customer newsletter ("Currently"), our customer magazine ("Current") and updates during major storms.

Press Releases

(Current News)

  • Keep Your Cool This Summer with Tips from the PUD
    8/2/2017

    With the weather heating up around the Puget Sound this summer, consider some tips from Snohomish County PUD to help keep your home cool:

    • Avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside.
    • Install efficient LEDs that run cooler. Only about 10% to 15% of the electricity that incandescent lights consume results in light—the rest is turned into heat.
    • Keep your shades and curtains drawn during the day to keep heat out.
    • Open windows at night to take advantage of cooler air.
    • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Consider air-drying both dishes and clothing.
    • Minimize activities that generate a lot of heat, such as running a computer, burning open flames, running a dishwasher, and using hot devices such as curling irons or hair dryers. Even stereos and televisions will add some heat to your home.

    Also, consider an efficient heat pump, which provides efficient cooling during the summer months. The PUD offers instant rebates for eligible heat pumps. Customers need to have electric heat as a primary heating source to qualify. Work also must be completed by a PUD Registered Contractor.

    For other conservation tips, visit the PUD website at snopud.com/energytips or call the Energy Hotline at 425-783-1700.

  • PUD’s Grid Improvements Enhance Reliability for Customers
    7/21/2017

    Electrical System Projects in 2017

    Snohomish County PUD has moved ahead on a series of electrical system improvements and preventative maintenance projects this year to help ensure the utility maintains the highest levels of reliability for its rapidly growing customer base.

    This year, the PUD plans to replace about 700 aging poles. During the 2016-2017 timeframe, the utility will have assessed and treated more than 25,000 poles. In addition, 30 to 40 miles of aging underground cable will be replaced throughout the PUD service area this year.

    Work continued this year to upgrade equipment at Everett’s Beverly Park substation, including installation of the utility’s largest transformer. The PUD is working with the Bonneville Power Administration and Puget Sound Energy on the project, aimed at bolstering reliability for customers throughout the region. It also includes reconfiguration of transmission lines and installation of new fiber optic lines.  

    Construction of the new Eagle Creek Substation in Arlington, in conjunction with upgrades to substations in East Arlington and Oso, will provide additional means of backup power for these communities, which have historically been more susceptible to weather conditions and outages.

    Substations in Smokey Point and North Everett are being entirely rebuilt in 2017, while substations in Monroe and Mill Creek/Seattle Hill are being upgraded with new equipment.

    In addition, numerous high-voltage poles, lines and related equipment will be reconfigured or receive maintenance during the year.

    Meanwhile, the PUD has relocated poles and wires to accommodate development and construction projects, including the City of Everett’s bridge project, linking Grand Avenue Park and West Marine View Drive on the waterfront.

  • Dept. of Commerce: $7 million in state Clean Energy Fund grants advance microgrid projects at Avista, SnoPUD
    5/10/2017

    Innovative utilities investing in highly flexible, resilient, efficient electricity grid for the future

    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE PRESS RELEASE

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Department of Commerce has finalized grants totaling $7 million with two Washington state utilities to further their innovative work on electricity “microgrid” projects. Spokane-based private utility Avista, and the Snohomish County Public Utility District (SnoPUD), each were awarded $3.5 million from the Washington Clean Energy Fund.

    Their projects, and several others making their way through the grant contract process, represent the next important phase in modernizing our nation’s electric system to meet demand for more efficient, resilient and flexible power management and delivery. Industry experts, engineers and investors are watching closely Washington’s Clean Energy Fund research and development projects. These real-world implementations of some of the first significant new concepts and technologies in a generation will illuminate potential uses, service models and economic benefits for people and communities all over the world.

    “Washington is a state of leaders who share a vision of sustainable growth and prosperity inherent in the low-carbon economy,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “I applaud our utilities and their partners for investing in these innovative projects that will secure our energy future.”

    Creating a “shared energy economy”

    >Avista (NYSE: AVA) will pilot a “Shared Energy Economy” model that allows various energy assets -- from solar panels and battery storage to traditional utility assets -- to be shared and used for multiple purposes, including system efficiency and grid resiliency. By doing this, benefits to both the consumer and utility can be demonstrated. 

    One aspect of the Avista project includes exploring energy sharing among buildings. For example, rooftop solar panels and battery storage units would be installed on two buildings. These buildings could be connected to a building energy management system that could automatically sense which building needs power and which building has sufficient power to share its solar or stored battery power. Since Avista can also tap into this system, the addition of shared assets allows the utility to better use the existing resources. Ultimately, the consumer and utility both benefit in this Shared Energy Economy model.

    “Creating a ‘Shared Energy Economy’ model is the latest example of Avista’s 128-year history of innovation. In a ‘sharing economy’ resources are shared, allowing customers to access goods without ownership. For example, if you rent a Zipcar, you can pay to use a car when you need it, instead of owning a personal car. We are excited to explore this concept as it relates to energy,” said Heather Rosentrater, Avista vice president of energy delivery. “We know that the energy landscape will continue to change, and as a utility, we need to ensure our system will be flexible enough to meet the changing expectations and future needs of consumers.”

    Testing small-scale renewables and disaster response

    SnoPUD will build a Microgrid and Clean Energy Technology Center in Arlington. The facility, currently in the design phase, will demonstrate how evolving energy technologies – including energy storage, a microgrid system, small-scale renewable energy and an electric vehicle-to-grid system – can work together to improve grid resiliency, disaster recovery and renewable energy integration. It also will include a technology center to educate industry and the community about these technologies.

    “Beyond the considerable value this facility provides for research of clean energy technologies, we will also test its viability to serve as a critical backup system for PUD operations in the event of a major disaster,” said SnoPUD CEO and General Manager Craig Collar. “We commend the state for supporting innovation in the energy sector and positioning our region as a leader.”

    The utility has already installed the largest flow battery system in North America, using batteries and energy storage solutions developed by Washington researchers and companies with support from prior Clean Energy Fund programs.

    “Our state’s investments in clean energy are helping strengthen communities all across the state,” Commerce Director Brian Bonlender said. ”As our strengths in information technology and cloud computing converge in new energy systems and operations, technologies developed and deployed in Washington are positioned to sell into global markets, creating new jobs and business opportunities here.”

    Since 2013, the Washington State Clean Energy fund has invested over $72 million and leveraged another $128.7 million in matching funds from industry partners. Washington state’s numerous clean technology researchers, companies, investors and public and private utilities are at the forefront of energy innovation in the United States. Learn more at www.commerce.wa.gov/energy.

    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Contact:
    Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications, 206-256-6106

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