PUD looks for new power supplier | SierraSun.com

PUD looks for new power supplier

Renee Shadforth

Now that the Truckee Donner Public Utility District has bought out its contract with IdaCorp, the time has come to look for a new power source for the district’s customers.

At their Feb. 19 board meeting, Power Supply Engineer Steve Hollabaugh presented the directors with information on six interested power suppliers, including Morgan Stanley, Duke Energy, PacifiCorp, Constellation, Arizona Public Service and Sierra Pacific.

“Right now we’re looking for less than a four-and-a-half-year contract,” Hollabaugh said, addressing the uncertainty of electric rates.

In mid-January, Hollabaugh sent requests for power to various electric suppliers. Seven companies replied and one didn’t have the infrastructure to reach the district. Until the end of the month, Hollabaugh is discussing enabling agreements and credit and collateral arrangements with the companies.

Board President Ron Hemig asked if the district was considered a good enough customer for the suppliers to want its business.

“Yes, these groups are hungry,” Hollabaugh answered.

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On March 5, the board will receive the power supply contracts and will have to select a power supplier at its board meeting that night.

“So I just want to warn you up front: This is not something we can put off,” Hollabaugh said. “The prices only stand for 24 hours.”

The district will start receiving power from the supplier on April 1.

Hemig suggested the board have a special meeting to discuss their options before the regularly scheduled meeting.

“This is too important of a topic,” he added.

The contracts are only valid for 24 hours because of the fluctuating nature of power rates, Hollabaugh explained.

“[The suppliers] look at this stuff everyday. It could be raining one day in the Pacific Northwest and their 2004 rates will go up. The next day, those rates can go down if it stops raining,” he said.