Centralia City Light Details What’s Keeping the Lights on in Annual Energy Disclosure Report


Centralia City Light’s hydroelectric project in Yelm generated about 5% less energy during 2020 when compared with previous years, according to an annual report out Thursday from the department.

“Traditionally, Centralia City Light Department’s hydroelectric project has provided over 20% of the power its customers need, in 2020 this fell to 15%,” read a news release attached to the report.

“The remainder is purchased through long-term contracts with the Bonneville Power Administration and market purchases.”

Despite the dip in hydropower production, it remained a top source for keeping the lights on in 2020. About 75% of the city’s fuel mix came from the energy source, with coal coming in a distant second generating 17% of the city’s needs and nuclear coming in third at nearly 8%.

“While Centralia owns no nuclear generation, a portion of the power purchased from BPA comes from that source and is reflected in the fuel mix shown in the table,” read the news release.

In total, the city utilized roughly 265,247 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity. A little bit more than 200,000 MWh of that was generated using hydroelectricity, with a majority of it coming from BPA.

The city’s two power plants — the Yelm hydro project and the TransAlta-owned Centralia Coal Plant — generated about 77,330 MWh. Hydro was king there, too, with the Yelm station generating nearly 40,000 MWh and TransAlta generating a little more than 37,300 MWh.

At the end of last year, TransAlta shuttered one of its two coal burners.

Centralia utilized about 7,086 MWh in “unspecified” market fuel sources during 2020. About 42 MWh of electricity was generated using petroleum sources.