Gregoire signs bill to phase out coal power
May 22, 2011 - Puget Sound Business Journal - bizjournals.com
Washington state Gov. Chris Gregoire signed legislation today to close two coal-fired boilers at the TransAlta power plant in Centralia, the last coal-fired plant in the state, with the aim of replacing them with cleaner energy. The boilers will be closed in 2020 and 2025, respectively.
“The Centralia power plant has long been a critical part of the regional economy,” Gregoire said at the bill signing ceremony at the TransAlta plant. “The men and women here who keep it running not only power homes and businesses, you serve as the backbone of your communities. We will build on your skills and your know-how to power our grid and our future. I want to thank our partners at TransAlta, our environmental community, and labor for coming together to be part of Washington’s clean energy future. I’d also like to thank our legislators, who gave this bill bipartisan support.”
The legislation requires TransAlta to install additional air pollution control technology in 2013 to further reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides at the 1600-megawatt plant, as well as to contribute $30 million in a community investment fund to help with economic development and energy efficiency projects and $25 million in an energy technology transition fund to support innovative energy technologies and companies in the state.
In the interim, TransAlta will be allowed to sell coal power under long-term contracts within Washington state.