August 03, 2010
Chelan County PUD has reportedly improved its overall financial outlook for the year by about $4 million from the previous forecast. But the District is still expected to lose money at year's end. Commissioners were presented this week with the Utilities quarterly financial report and, while the losses projected are less than first expected, the District is still facing a 23 million dollar loss at the end of the year.
The PUD is relying on cash reserves, which now stand at about 190-million dollars, to make up for the budget shortfall.
A report from Enrgy Planning and Trading Manager Janet Jaspers showed that Mountain snow runoff has
jumped up to about 77 percent of average for the Columbia River at Grand Coulee Dam, from a previous
forecast of 67 percent. Lake Chelan’s runoff forecast has gone from 83 percent up to 101 percent of average, but much of that water had to be spilled because of modernization work on one of the two turbines in the Chelan Falls powerhouse.
The PUD's traditional revenue generator, surplus power sales, have tanked this year.
The amount of surplus power available for sale has only been 49 percent of what was budgeted, and the
revenue resulting from power sales (due to low prices) has only amounted to 53 percent of budget.
The PUD has begun selling power at auction for several years into the future in an effort to stabilize revenues in the future and provide a more stable financial foundation. The first four-year slice auction is taking place over the next few weeks.