Utilitarian sounding Public Utility District No. 2 of Grant County, Washington, probably used up its initial budget before it could hire a team of branding and identity consultants. But its dour name does not stop the power provider (commonly referred to as Grant County PUD) from operating two hydroelectric power plants on the Columbia River (the Priest Rapids and Wanapum dams, with 2,000 MW of generating capacity) and distributing electricity to the 46,000 retail customers in Washington's Grant County. The district, also sells excess power to twelve Pacific Northwest utilities and is developing a residential fiber-optic data network (with 6,000 end-users at the end of 2010).
Grant County PUD has additional natural resource and environmental responsibilities, including coordinating with other agencies to protect fish populations and the interests of Native communities.
The PUD reported higher revenues in 2010 thanks to rate increases. However, higher purchased power costs and an increase in transmission and depreciation and amortization expenses dragged down its net income for the year.
To increase system reliability and expand capacity to deliver more hydroelectric power, in 2012 Grant County PUD planned to build a 230 kV transmission line to connect its Rocky Ford Substation to Bonneville Power Administration's Columbia Substation in Douglas County.
Grant County PUD was formed in 1938 and went into operation in 1942 as part of the Roosevelt administration's nationwide drive to bring affordable electricity the rural areas of the country. – less