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Columbia Generating Station returns to NW power grid

John Dobken, Public Affairs, 509-377-8369                                                                           
Anna Markham, Public Affairs, 509-377-8162
RICHLAND, Wash. – Columbia Generating Station reconnected to the regional power grid this morning following six days offline.
The nuclear facility shut down May 18 when one of the station’s main power transformers automatically disconnected from the transmission system following a grid disturbance. The transformer’s protection system sensed an issue and initiated a trip signal, which resulted in a main generator trip that took the plant offline.
“I’m proud of our team’s commitment to work safely to bring Columbia back online so we can continue supplying carbon-free electricity to the region,” said Dave Brown, plant general manager.
The EN team also used the time to complete work on other plant equipment that can only be accomplished while offline.
Columbia Generating Station, owned and operated by Energy Northwest, with 1,207 megawatts of gross capacity, is the third largest generator of electricity in Washington state. All of its electricity is sold at-cost to BPA, and 92 Northwest utilities receive a percentage of its output. The facility is located 10 miles north of Richland, Wash.
About Energy Northwest
Energy Northwest develops, owns and operates a diverse mix of electricity generating resources, including hydro, solar and wind projects – and the Northwest’s only nuclear energy facility. These projects provide enough reliable, affordable and environmentally respon­sible energy to power more than a million homes each year, and that carbon-free electricity is provided at the cost of generation. As a Washington state, joint action agency, Energy Northwest comprises 27 public power member utilities from across the state serving more than 1.5 million ratepayers. The agency continually explores new generation projects to meet its members’ needs. In 2016, the Association of Washington Business named Energy Northwest Employer of the Year.
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