Centralia City Light

Centralia, WA owns and operates a complete electrical system consisting of a hydroelectric generating plant, transmission system and distribution system. The generating system, built in 1929, consists of a diversion dam on the Nisqually River (near the town of Yelm) and a canal that crosses the Yelm Prairie for approximately 9 miles to a hydroelectric generator. From the generator, the power is transmitted 26 miles to Centralia, where it is distributed to over ten thousand customers. The city can currently generate over 12 megawatts of power during peak flows, about 30% of the city’s needs. This relatively cheap source of power has contributed to one of the lowest electrical rates in the Northwest.