Puget Sound Energy

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Puget Sound Energy
Type Private
Industry Energy, Utility
Founded 1997
Headquarters Bellevue, Washington (Founded: Seattle, Washington)
Key people Kimberly J. Harris, President and CEO
Products Electricity and natural gas
Revenue $3.23 billion. (2009 Energy Sales)
Owners Macquarie Consortium
Employees 3,000
Website www.pse.com

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) is a Washington state energy utility providing electrical power and natural gas primarily in the Puget Sound region of the northwest United States. The utility serves electricity to more than 1.1 million customers in Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Pierce, Skagit, Thurston, and Whatcom counties; and provides natural gas to 750,000 customers in King, Kittitas, Lewis, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston counties. The company has a 6,000-square-mile (16,000 km2) electric and natural gas service area.

Facilities[edit]

PSE’s electric supplies include utility-owned resources as well as those under long-term contract, for a total capacity of 5,044 megawatts (MW).

PSE owns coal, hydroelectric, natural gas and wind power-generating facilities, with more than 2,900 MW of capacity. Roughly one-third each of PSE generation comes from coal, hydroelectric, and natural gas facilities, with a small remainder coming from wind and energy efficiency programs.

Coal accounts for 36% of PSE’s electricity fuel mix.[1] PSE's partial ownership of Eastern Montana's Colstrip Generating Station represents the single largest power-generating facility PSE owns, approximately 700 MW of generating capacity. In 2010, the Colstrip Generating station was the 8th largest greenhouse gas emitter among power plants in the United States.[2]

Hydroelectricity generates 33% of PSE’s power supply.[3] The company operates three hydroelectric facilities:

Natural gas-fired power generation accounts for 29% of the utility’s electricity fuel mix.[5] The company operates these natural gas-fired facilities:

  • The Sumas Generating Station in Whatcom County is a cogeneration natural gas–fired plant capable of generating 125 MW of electricity.
  • The Encogen Generating Station in Whatcom County is a combined-cycle natural gas-fired plant capable of generating 167 MW of electricity.
  • The Goldendale Generating Station in Klickitat County is a combined-cycle natural gas-fired plant capable of generating 277 MW of electricity.
  • The Mint Farm Generating Station in Cowlitz County is a combined-cycle natural-gas-fired plant capable of generating 310 MW of electricity.
  • The Fredonia Generating Station in Skagit County is a simple-cycle natural gas-fired plant capable of generating 314 MW of electricity.
  • The Frederickson Generating Station in Pierce County is a simple-cycle natural gas-fired plant capable of generating 147 MW of electricity; the nearby Frederickson 1 Generating Station is a combined-cycle natural gas-fired plant capable of generating 137 MW of electricity.
  • The Whitehorn Generating Station in Whatcom County is a simple-cycle natural gas-fired plant capable of generating 147 MW of electricity.

Wind power and other generation sources, such as biomass and landfill gas, account for 1% of the utility’s electricity fuel mix.[6] PSE owns and operates these wind-power facilities:

  • The Hopkins Ridge Wind Facility in southeast Washington’s Columbia County began commercial production in 2005. Hopkins Ridge’s 87 wind turbines have the capacity to generate 157 MW of electricity.
  • The Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility in central Washington’s Kittitas County began production in 2006 and was expanded to include 22 turbines in 2009. Wild Horse’s 149 wind turbines have the capacity to generate 273 MW of electricity.
  • In 2012, the first phase of the Lower Snake River Wind Project begins in Southeast Washington's Garfield County. Lower Snaker River Phase 1's 149 turbines have the capacity to generate 343 MW of electricity.

A net-metering program allows residential and business customers to return extra renewable energy solar power to the grid. An additional approximately 1% per year of generation comes from—or actually is reduced by—state mandated I-937 energy efficiency programs, adding an average 25 additional "Negawatts" generation capacity per year.

For its natural gas service to customers, PSE purchases a portfolio of natural gas supplies originating in western Canada and the U.S. Rocky Mountains states.

History[edit]

PSE was formed in 1997 when two of its largest ancestral companies – Puget Sound Power & Light Company and Washington Energy Company – merged.[7]

In 2009 Puget Sound Energy was sold to foreign investors, Macquarie Group,[8] in a leveraged private equity buyout. Puget Holdings, the US title of this group of long-term infrastructure investors, merged with Puget Energy, PSE’s parent company to form the current business structure. Puget Energy is a holding company incorporated in the State of Washington. All of its operations are conducted through its utility subsidiary, PSE, which is regulated by Washington State’s Utilities and Transportation Commission.

Rates and emissions[edit]

Puget Sound Energy rates show a typical residential electrical bill (at 1000 kwh per month) of $102.56 and typical a gas bill (at 68 therms per month) of $86.[9] PSE reports 2010 household emissions (per household at 1000 kwh per month) of 1500 pounds CO2.

References[edit]