Columbia Generating Station sets personal best

RICHLAND, Wash.– As of 1:47 a.m., Columbia Generating Station has been producing clean, nuclear energy for the Northwest power grid for 506 consecutive days, beating the previous record of 505 days set in April 2011. During this time, Columbia produced more than 13.25 million megawatt hours of electricity while achieving a 96.85 percent capability factor.

The current run began after the plant was restarted following Columbia’s 2013 refueling and maintenance outage, which ended June 25, 2013. Columbia’s next refueling outage is scheduled to begin May 9.

“This record is attributable to the organization’s alignment around operational excellence,” said Brad Sawatzke, vice president, Nuclear Generation and chief nuclear officer. “From Operations to Maintenance to Engineering and all the support teams, we’ve had tremendous focus on operating safely and at a high performance level.”

Columbia this month marked five years without an unplanned shut-down. Employees and contractors also recently surpassed 13 million hours worked without a lost-time accident.

“I am very proud of the team for this achievement and continued pursuit of performance excellence,” said Mark Reddemann, Energy Northwest CEO. “This demonstrates one of the reasons Columbia remains a vital part of the Northwest energy mix – a reliable, baseload resource.”

Columbia Generating Station is the Northwest’s only commercial nuclear energy facility, generating 1,170 megawatts of electricity, which is sold at-cost to the Bonneville Power Administration. Ninety-two Northwest utilities receive a percentage of its output. In December, Columbia will mark 30 years of commercial operation. Columbia set power generation records in 2012, 2013 and for fiscal year 2014.

About Energy Northwest
Energy Northwest develops, owns and operates a diverse mix of electricity generating resources, including hydro, solar and wind projects – and the Northwest’s only nuclear energy facility. These projects provide enough reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible energy to power more than a million homes each year, and that carbon-free electricity is provided at the cost of generation. As a Washington state, not-for-profit joint operating agency, Energy Northwest comprises 27 public power member utilities from across the state serving more than 1.5 million ratepayers. The agency continually explores new generation projects to meet its members’ needs. Energy Northwest –