The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

PUD expects savings from changing lights


April 20, 2017

Commissioners heard reports at the Wahkiakum PUD Board of Commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday morning and approved a resolution to support the operation of the Columbia Generating Station.

General Manager David Tramblie invited the commissioners to join him at a Cowlitz County PUD meeting on April 25 to hear executives from Bonneville Power Administration. Commissioner Dennis Reid said he would be there.

“It’s supposed to be an open discussion with BPA staff about issues that some of the utilities on the westside of the state have,” Tramblie said.

Tramblie reported that he had replaced 200 watt high pressure sodium lights with 200 watt equivalent LEDs at two intersections in Cathlamet.

“Apparently those lights are going to function well,” Tramblie said, after noting that he had not received any complaints.

Tramblie plans to purchase 50 more of the LEDs to replace the rest of the 200 watt high pressure sodium lights they have in the system. He estimated that the lights will provide a 50 percent savings for the PUD.

He also said that the electric crew had replaced about 200 electric meters on Puget Island with automated meter reading meters in the last week. He hopes to have the project to replace all the meters on Puget Island completed next month.

“I think it’s going quite well,” Tramblie said. “I haven’t gotten any negative feedback on it.”

Tramblie told the commissioners that he decided to take advantage of a coming excavation for a portion of the intertie project with Pacific County to put additional pipe in the ground for a future project, possibly to expand the western Wahkiakum water system.

“It would be exponentially more expensive to do it in the future,” Tramblie said.

Auditor Erin Wilson reported that thanks to several generous donations, the Residential Energy Assistance Program’s fund had grown from less than $100 last month to over $400 this month.

Commissioner Gene Healy reported interesting details about decision making at Bonneville and facts about the Columbia Treaty. Reid reported on legislative matters that might affect the PUD.

“I bumped into a customer in the market after the last windstorm that we had that didn’t affect us very much,” Reid said at the end of the meeting. “He told me that we have the best PUD around. It was nice to hear.”

Which reminded Tramblie that the crews were headed out to trim trees.

“That’s one of the big reasons we don’t have outages,” Reid said.


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