photo of Will Purser PUD District 1 Commissioner I am running for re-election to ensure Clallam County PUD (CCPUD) customers continue to receive the affordable and reliable power I’ve worked hard to secure during my tenure. Energy and natural resource issues are complex and we have many challenges ahead of us that are compounded by climate change and mitigating legislation. My years of experience and vast knowledge of complex utility issues and challenges make me uniquely qualified for the position.

Energy Issues

Our BPA contracts represent 98% of our energy at a cost well below current market rates or other renewable options available. As a public power entity, we are fortunate to have access to the Federal Columbia River Power System’s carbon-free hydro generation and the carbon-free nuclear, wind, solar, and hydro generation owned by Energy Northwest and marketed through the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), one of US Department of Energy’s power marketing agencies. 

During this next term, your PUD will negotiate and sign new BPA contracts. These contracts are critical to our future power supply. I actively work with 28 Washington PUDs to ensure our new contracts will provide a long-term, non-carbon supply of energy beyond 2028. Currently, there is no non-carbon source of energy less expensive than BPA. Replacing BPA energy with other sources, including buying on the open market, will increase rates and take a step backward in meeting carbon neutral mandates.

We anticipate a recent distribution clause triggered in the existing BPA contracts will result in a 1% rate decrease for the next two years for CCPUD customers. Unlike my opponent, I believe in working collaboratively with regional partners to give us a greater voice in ensuring CCPUD and its customers have affordable rates and a reliable source of electricity. This approach has paid off time and time again. This particular distribution clause was triggered because BPA had sold energy to California at high market prices and had excess reserves. BPA announced a $250 million distribution to contract holders, but the Public Power community (of which we are a part) pushed for the $350 million which we anticipate will result in the rate decrease.

Through my efforts and collaboration with other Washington PUDs, your PUD has already met Washington state’s mandate to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.  CCPUD is also one of a very few national electric utilities to have a carbon neutral power supply.

My knowledge, expertise, leadership and ability to collaborate with regional stakeholders is critical in meeting the mandates in the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) without impacting rates or reliability. Governor Jay Inslee signed CETA into law in 2019. The law commits Washington to an electricity supply free of greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. 

I will continue to collaborate with Pacific Northwest National Lab and Energy Northwest on emergent technologies including batteries, demand response, tidal generation, and green hydrogen.

My support of customer net-metered solar generation resulted in 400 local residents being connected to the grid.

I will continue to encourage passage of federal and state legislation to support cost-effective micro grid and community solar projects.