Snohomish County PUD

Alternative Energy
2:24 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Snohomish County PUD Cancels Tidal Power Project

A screenshot from a promotional video by OpenHydro, the manuficaturing company that was one of the partners on the project.
Courtesy of Snohomish County PUD

Snohomish County Public Utility District has pulled the plug on its high-profile research project to develop technology that harnesses the tides to generate electrical power. The utility says the U.S. Department of Energy was not willing to share in escalating costs for the project.

It was to be located in Admiralty Inlet, west of Whidbey Island.

The federal agency committed in 2006 to cover a fixed dollar amount that, at the time, covered half of the total bill for the tidal energy project. But it was not clear how to cover increased costs for materials and new mandates for studies, and the DOE said Friday it would provide no additional funding for the effort.

Read more
Alternative Energy
5:01 am
Wed April 16, 2014

PUD Changes Course; No Dam for Skykomish River’s Sunset Falls

Skykomish River
Courtesy Andrea Matzke

Plans to put a dam on one of Washington’s most scenic rivers have been called off.

The Snohomish County Public Utilities District says it has a better plan for the area on the Skykomish River near Index. But opponents of the project say it’s still too early to declare a victory. 

Snohomish County PUD was planning an inflatable weir for the bend in the river near Sunset Falls, not far from Index. The utility said it had a design that would rise and fall with the river, making it safe for endangered fish runs and minimally disruptive to the scenic value of the area.

Read more
Hydropower
1:02 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Feds OK Snohomish County PUD's Tidal Power Project In Admiralty Inlet

Admiralty Inlet
hj_west Flickr

Federal regulators have given unanimous approval for an underwater energy project powered by the tides in Washington’s Admiralty Inlet.

Two turbines will take advantage of the fast-moving currents and daily tidal movements in the busy passage west of Whidbey Island, at a depth of about 200 feet.

Read more
Energy Futures
5:01 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Sunset Falls Dam Fight: Citizen Activists Accuse SnoPUD Of Waste, Secret Meeting

Snohomish County PUD wants to install a small, inflatable dam at this bend on the south fork of the Skykomish River.
Bellamy Pailthorp

New accusations are fueling an ongoing controversy over a proposal to put a small inflatable dam on one of the Northwest’s scenic treasures. Opponents accuse the Snohomish County PUD of clouding the issue with confusing information and a secret meeting.

Read more
Environment
5:05 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Dam Dispute Surfaces in Salmon Policy

Pink salmon running in the Skykomish River at Sunset Falls.
Andrea Matzke at Wild Washington Rivers

The road map for balancing environmental needs with the need to generate power from the Northwest's hydroelectric dams is being revised. And the move has some people worried it could open the door to destructive dam projects on Washington rivers.

Read more