The eight owners of the Centralia plant are selling the 1340 MW facility to TransAlta of Alberta, Canada, for $554 million. The sale is waiting approval from state regulators, giving the NW Energy Coalition and other environmental groups time to promote their innovative idea on how profits from the sale should be used.
Although the groups are not specifically asking for renewable resources-they say they are pursuing that issue in other venues-they are proposing a level of clean, low carbon power that could favour renewable generation. Nancy Hirsh of the NW Energy Coalition believes the profit from the plant's sale belongs to customers who have paid for the power plant since 1972 and should not go to company shareholders. PacifiCorp, the largest stakeholder and operator of the plant, disagrees. Regulatory approvals for the sale should be concluded by February.
Meantime, TransAlta has agreed with Washington's Department of Ecology, to make pollution and emission improvements at the Centralia plant by scrubbing 90% of sulphur dioxide and 40% of nitrous oxide from its emissions. The agreement does not include carbon dioxide.