Council OKs Deal for UEC to Provide Service to Future Amazon Facilities

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The Hermiston City Council gave its approval Monday night for the city to enter into an agreement allowing Umatilla Electric Cooperative to provide service to one or more industrial facilities to be developed by Amazon Data Services, Inc.

The property, located in the South Hermiston Industrial Park, happens to straddle both UEC and Hermiston Energy Services territory, with the majority of the land residing in UEC’s territory. Just over 79 acres are within UEC territory with about 21 acres on HES territory.

UEC initially requested a Service Territory Transfer (STT), but after the issue was reviewed by a consultant for the city, it was agreed that a Customer Allocation Agreement (CAA) would be a preferred route to take.

Nate Rivera, HES superintendent, said the CAA retains HES’s service territory, and the Oregon Public Utilities Commission would respect the boundary. HES also felt that a voluntary negotiated CAA between HES and UEC would be a more streamlined approach with a faster conclusion with the OPUC.

Rivera said it’s not feasible to split services between two electric service providers and added that a CAA “eliminates any possible unintended consequences of opening up HES’s defined service territory.”

Mayor Dave Drotzmann wanted clarification that the city would not be giving up any territory, but merely allowing UEC to serve the customer on HES territory.

“This agreement makes it clear to everyone that we are giving permission willingly and that we are comfortable with Umatilla Electric serving that load even thought a portion of it is located within our defined service territory,” said Rivera.

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