PWC Adopts $405.3 Million Budget for Fiscal Year 2022

PWC adopted its annual utility budget for fiscal year 2021-2022 during its June 9th meeting. The $405.3 million budget is a 2.5% decrease over from the FY2020-2021 budget.

Driving the decrease are lower power supply costs. PWC will have a 5% decrease in power supply cost from its wholesale power supplier, Duke Energy Progress  in the upcoming year. Through an amended contract with Duke Energy Progress , and regulatory settlements related to Coal Ash Expenses, power supply cost will drop from $1412 million to $137 million.

“Key items included in the budget for FY2022 include continued investment in our electric, water and wastewater systems to support growth, reliability, water quality and compliance,” said PWC CEO/General Manager Elaina Ball. “The adopted budget continues to address PWC’s multi-year plan of rehabilitation and replacement of aging infrastructure to ensure reliable and safe services for our 118,000 customers.”

Electric system plans will have $4.5 million in projects that will replace underground electric cable in residential neighborhoods and a rebuild of the Cumberland Road electric substation, one of over 30 in the PWC system.

“Main projects in our water resources fund include investment in water system rehabilitation, continued support of Phase V annexation, water and wastewater plant improvements, plant expansion planning, and replacement of backup generators for storm readiness,” said Ball.

PWC maintains over 2,700 miles of water and wastewater mains and PWC water and wastewater plants each treat over eight billion gallons of water a year. The FY2022 budget plans for $12 million of rehabilitation and replacement of water/wastewater lines and $6 million for utility line re-location work related to NCDOT roadway improvement projects.

Included in reliability projects is $6.3 million for the replacement of standby generators at PWC’s wastewater treatment plants. The backup generators has been critical to PWC operations and customers in recent years when Fayetteville experienced extended power outages from storm damage and flooding related to Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Florence.

A major expense in the PWC budget is the continued expansion of water/wastewater lines into Phase V annexation areas in the western side of Fayetteville. PWC is over 60% complete with the utility retrofit project and in FY2022 will spend $28.2 million to continue installation efforts. In addition, PWC will pay $4.6 million in FY2022 of its outstanding $64.6 million of debt related to Phase V utility projects.

Other major projects in the FY2022 PWC budget include $4.7 million in support of the MetroNet broadband project and an investment of $3.9 million in renewable energy projects, including the expansion of battery storage at its Community Solar farm.

“PWC also continues to support community investments in the form of an approximate $11.8M in transfer to the City of Fayetteville as well as a number of other in-kind contributions to help our region,” said Ball.

In addition to PWC’s annual transfer, additional $14 million of in-kind contributions which include sewer installation for Phase V annexation, inside city street lighting, street and pedestrian lighting improvements, utility conversions and gateway improvements and economic development support.