Puget Sound Energy has announced the purchase of a natural-gas power plant in Whatcom County.
The 270-megawatt plant is located about five miles west of Ferndale, next to a Phillips 66 oil refinery.
PSE bought the plant from Tenaska Washington Partners LP as part of the company’s continuing efforts to find additional supplies of power to serve its customers’ needs.
As Washington state’s oldest local energy company, PSE serves more than 1 million electric customers and more than 750,000 natural-gas customers in 11 counties. It is a subsidiary of Puget Energy.
“Natural gas is a clean, abundant and economic resource, whether you’re heating a home, cooking a meal or generating electricity,” said Paul Wiegand, PSE’s senior vice president of energy operations, in a press release. “With the addition of this plant to our supply portfolio, our customers gain another cost-effective, environmentally responsible source of power.”
The Whatcom County facility employs technology that can generate electricity first from its natural gas-fired turbines, and then from a steam-driven turbine drawing exhaust heat from the two gas-fired units. According to PSE, the two-stage process boosts operating efficiency, lowers fuel costs and reduces air emissions.
Puget Sound Energy also owns three other natural-gas power plants in Whatcom County.
The energy company will likely continue to make future power-supply acquisitions.
It estimates it will need about 160 MW in additional electric resources by the end of 2017 to meet customer demand.