Puget Sound Energy has purchased a natural gas-fired power plant near Ferndale that generates enough electricity to serve about 200,000 homes. The Bellevue-based utility did not disclose the price of the purchase from Tenaska Washington Partners. PSE had been buying the plants power output from Tenaska.
The power plant was built in 1994 and is near the Phillips 66 refinery, about five miles west of Ferndale. The purchase process began after PSE put out a request for proposals in 2011 to find outside power-supply offers. Market studies indicated that the purchase will allow PSE to provide lower-cost power to its customers.
PSE owns three other natural-gas fired plants in Whatcom County: the Whitehorn generating station near Ferndale, Encogen in Bellingham and a Sumas generating station. PSE spokesman Roger Thompson says hydropower still makes up the utilitys largest supply segment about a third from PSEs own dams and purchases from other utilities.
PSE is the largest private utility in Washington with 1.1 million electricity customers and 750,000 natural gas customers in 11 counties.