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PSE buys gas-fired power plant
Bellevue-based Puget Sound Energy has purchased a 270-megawatt (MW) natural gas-fired power plant in northwest Washington, near Ferndale. PSE bought the Whatcom County facility from Tenaska Washington Partners, L.P.
The Whatcom County facility employs combined-cycle, co-generation technology that can generate electricity first from its natural gas-fired turbines, and then from a steam-driven turbine drawing exhaust heat from the two gas-fired units. The two-stage process boosts operating efficiency, lowers fuel costs, and reduces air emissions.
Built in 1994, the power plant is adjacent to a Phillips 66 oil refinery about five miles west of Ferndale. Through 2011, PSE had purchased the plant’s power output from Tenaska. Market studies indicate that utility ownership of the facility will provide lower-cost power to PSE customers, according to Paul Wiegand, PSE senior vice president of Energy Operations.