Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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Customer Service (M-F 8a-5:30p): 425-783-1000

Hydroelectric Power

There are many different carbon-free energy sources available across the Pacific Northwest, including hydro, solar, wind and biomass. Hydropower is unique because electricity generation can be increased/decreased on many projects, allowing it to help balance wind and solar production that can vary with the weather. This reliability feature is why some people refer to hydropower in the Pacific Northwest as the grid’s battery system. For the PUD, hydropower is key to reliably meeting community electricity needs and helping both the utility and region transition to a cleaner energy future.

Hydroelectric power accounts for more than 85%of the PUD’s portfolio of generating resources. Contracts for Bonneville Power Administration projects supply most of our hydropower (~75%). PUD’s owned-and-operated resources provide another ~10%; these include the Henry M. Jackson, Woods Creek, Youngs Creek, Calligan Creek, and Hancock Creek hydroelectric projects.

PUD hydro images


Why hydropower makes sense for the PUD

  • Carbon-free generation resource
  • Located outside sensitive wild and scenic and wilderness areas
  • Abundant source of water in our area to “fuel” generation
  • Less variable generation helps planning
  • Reservoir systems act as battery, providing power when needed
  • Complements intermittent (solar and wind) resources
  • Provides multiple uses including flood control, water supply, recreation, fish habitat
  • A proven technology with predictable, manageable operating costs
  • Have long lives, up to 100 years or more

Hydropower provides essential regional ancillary and reliability services, ensuring regional grid stability and flexibility, such as:

  • Regulation and frequency response
  • Load-following and flexibility reserve
  • Energy imbalance service
  • Spinning and supplemental reserve
  • Reactive power and voltage support
  • Black start (restoration) service

PUD Hydro Projects

Jackson Hydro Project (click to view)
(click to view)
  • Sultan River, north of Sultan, WA
  • 111.8 MW nameplate capability
  • Started operation in 1984
  • Produces electricity for over 56,300 homes per year on average; 95,000 homes at full generation
  • Receives 163 inches rain per year on average – one of wettest locations in the U.S.
  • Provides 75% drinking water supply to Snohomish County
  • Provides recreation opportunities and incident flood control
  • Created over 2 miles of side channels, removed 2 barriers to fish passage, among other fish habitat enhancements
  • Protects and manages over 2,500 acres of uplands (including 525+ acres of old-growth forests), 2,000 acres of lakes (Spada Reservoir and Lost Lake)
  • Natural barrier below Culmback Dam prevents salmon spawning migration
Woods Creek Hydro Project (click to view)
(click to view)
  • Woods Creek, north of Monroe, WA
  • 0.65 MW nameplate capability
  • Started operation in 1983, purchased by PUD in 2008
  • Produces electricity for over 200 homes per year on average; over 600 homes at full generation
  • Efficiency upgrades count towards Energy Independence Act (I-937)
  • Waterfall at powerhouse prevents salmon spawning migration above project
  • Co-located with PUD’s Sustainability Center to provide renewable energy and natural environment education
Youngs Creek Hydro Project (click to view)
(click to view)
  • Youngs Creek, south of Sultan, WA
  • 7.5 MW nameplate capability
  • Started operation in 2011
  • Produces electricity for 2,050 homes per year on average; over 7,500 homes at full generation
  • Waterfall prevents salmon spawning migration to project area
Calligan Hydro Project (click to view)
(click to view)
  • Calligan Creek, northeast of North Bend, WA
  • 6.0 MW nameplate capability
  • Started operation in 2015
  • Produces electricity for 2,300 homes per year on average; 6,000 homes at full generation
  • Snoqualmie Falls prevents salmon spawning migration to project area
Hancock Hydro Project (click to view)
(click to view)
 
  • Hancock Creek, northeast of North Bend, WA
  • 6.0 MW nameplate capability
  • Started operation in 2015
  • Produces electricity for 2,500 homes per year on average; 6,000 homes at full generation
  • Snoqualmie Falls prevents salmon spawning migration to project area

Contact:

Garrison Marr
425-783-8268

(M-F, 8am to 5pm)