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News / Northwest

Douglas County PUD, Microsoft form reimbursement agreement for new substation

By Kalie Worthen, The Wenatchee World
Published: March 29, 2023, 7:43am

EAST WENATCHEE — Douglas County PUD will design and construct a new substation to own and operate for a new load for Microsoft Corporation.

Commissioners approved the facilities cost agreement at the Monday board meeting. The district will provide cost estimates for the substation’s construction work to Microsoft and Microsoft will reimburse the district for the work through the agreement.

“This is phase two of the Microsoft development,” said Gary Ivory, PUD general manager, at the meeting. “We’ve agreed to build one substation; this would be the next substation and allow them to continue building additional buildings up there.”

The district constructed the first substation to serve Microsoft’s 241,000-square-foot data center that sits on Urban Industrial Way in East Wenatchee. The initial substation construction for Microsoft, which also included a transmission line and other improvements, started in 2021 and was completed by fall 2022, according to Wenatchee World archives ( wenatcheeworld.com ).

Due to the long lead time on equipment, like large electrical transformers, the district is “attacking the items with the longest lead time first and getting those coming,” Ivory said, to prepare for building the substation.

Microsoft receives power from a third-party provider while simultaneously using PUD power lines and paying into higher rates if needed, as reported by the Wenatchee World.