Bringing the Wattage to Your Cottage for 80 Years!

We’re proud to be a community-owned utility that has provided reliable and affordable power to our customers for 80 years.

Central Lincoln People’s Utility District was formed in protest against the high rates, poor service, and restrictive policies of the local privately-owned power utility. To comply with government regulations, the owners of the local utility became interested in disposing of their property in the Pacific Northwest. Negotiations were opened between the utility and the District, and a purchase agreement was reached in 1942.

When Central Lincoln PUD began operations on May 5, 1943, the acquired electric system had only two primary sources of power to serve the large area extending from Depoe Bay to Coos Bay. The C.D. Johnson Lumber Company generating facilities at Toledo generated power for the northern portion of the territory. Power for the southern part of the territory came from the Mountain States Power Company at a point of delivery near Coos Bay. As these energy sources were limited to about 2,000 kilowatts (kW) each, electric power for expansion was unavailable. The wholesale cost of this power to the District was extremely high, resulting in increased customer rates. Power purchased from C.D. Johnson cost an average of 6.2¢ per megawatt (MW), and Mountain States Power averaged 8.9¢ per MW.

Andrew Naterlin throws the switch bringing Bonneville Power to the Newport area for the first time.
Andrew Naterlin throws the switch, bringing Bonneville Power to the Newport area for the first time.

Through local people, working on behalf of the District, low-cost power from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) was first obtained in 1946, with the completion of the BPA 115,000-volt line from Albany to Toledo. In December 1948, the District began receiving power for the Siuslaw Valley over a 115,000-volt line constructed by BPA from Eugene into Mapleton. Additional delivery points were established in 1950 when BPA extended a 115,000-volt line from Mapleton into Reedsport and in 1953, constructed a similar transmission line into Florence. Still to come would be another point of delivery east of Hauser, from the BPA Reedsport-Coos Bay line, upon the completion of a 6,000 kVA substation (which occurred in 1969). In 1980, another point of delivery was established further south on that same line, in Glasgow.

In 1943:

  • We served nearly 5,000 customers
  • They paid an average of 3.039¢ per kWh
  • We had about 50 employees

In 1953:

  • We served about 10,000 customers
  • They paid an average of 1.43¢ per kWh
  • We had 82 employees

Eighty years later, we provide power to just under 41,000 meters and serve about 55,000 customers; our residential customers pay 7.85¢ per kWh, and we have 128 employees.

Our current board of directors includes Keith Tymchuk, Paul Davies, Judy Matheny, Alma Baxter, and Rick Yecny.