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Columbia Sets Monthly Generation Record


RICHLAND, Wash. – Columbia Generating Station sent more than 867 million kilowatt-hours of electricity to the Northwest power grid in December, a new record for monthly generation. The previous record was set in January 2016: 860.8 million net kilowatt-hours.

Alex Javorik, Energy Northwest vice president for Engineering, credited both recent plant upgrades, which boosted Columbia’s output, and good teamwork for the record-breaking performance. “This is a direct result of a high-performing team that continues to work safely and effectively,” Javorik said. “That’s what this record is all about.”

Columbia also performs more efficiently during the cold winter months. For instance, Columbia set a record for July generation last year, producing nearly 856 million kilowatt-hours, or about 11 million kilowatt-hours less than December’s total.

During December, Columbia operated at a 104.4 percent capacity factor. Capacity factor is a ratio based on the maximum amount of electricity the plant could send to the grid at the most restrictive time of the year, which for thermal power plants is during summer.

The nuclear energy plant, the third largest generator of electricity in Washington state, set annual generation records in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016. During its lifetime, Columbia has produced more than 240 billion kilowatt-hours of carbon-free electricity. 

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 the Bonneville Power Administration, and 92 Northwest utilities receive a percentage of its output. The facility is located 10 miles north of Richland, Wash.  


John Dobken, Public Affairs, 509-377-8369 
Anna Markham, Public Affairs, 509-377-8162​


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.

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