The city owns and operates a complete electrical system consisting of a hydroelectric generating plant, transmission system and distribution system. The generating system, built in 1929, consists of a diversion dam on the Nisqually River (near the town of Yelm) and a canal that crosses the Yelm Prairie for approximately 9 miles to a hydroelectric generator. From the generator, the power is transmitted 26 miles to Centralia, where it is distributed to over ten thousand customers. The city can currently generate over 12 megawatts of power during peak flows, about 30% of the city's needs. This relatively cheap source of power has contributed to one of the lowest electrical rates in the Northwest.
How Centralia's Electricity is Generated
Traditionally Centralia City Light Departmentís hydroelectric project has provided over 25% of the power its customers need. The remainder is purchased through long-term contracts with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).
The following table provides information on the fuels used to generate the electricity Centralia provided to its customers in 2013. While Centralia owns no nuclear or coal generation, a portion of the power purchased from BPA comes from these sources and is reflected in the fuel mix shown in the table.
This information is provided in compliance with fuel disclosure provisions of the Fuel Mix Disclosure section of State law. For additional information, please contact Centralia City Light at 330-7512.