Feds Give OK To Tidal Energy Project In Puget Sound

Mar 21, 2014

Puget Sound tides may soon be generating power.  A proposal for the world’s first tidal energy project that’s connected to the grid received a federal license Thursday.

The waters off of Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound will be home to the future tidal energy project.
Credit Ricardo Martin

The Snohomish Public Utility District will install two underwater turbines near Washington’s Whidbey Island.  The turbines would stay underwater for up to five years.

“The beauty of tidal energy is that it’s very predictable," said Neil Neroutsos, a spokesman for the utility.  "We know when the tides are going in and when they’re going out.”

Some have raised concerns that the tidal projects could harm marine life.  Neroutsos says several studies indicate that the turbines will not pose such a risk.

The utility expects the pilot project will be running by 2016.

Copyright 2014 Northwest Public Radio