Tidal Power Project In Puget Sound One Step Closer To Approval

Jan 29, 2013

A proposal to generate power from Puget Sound tides moved one step closer to approval with the release of a new government review. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

Snohomish County Public Utility District wants to put two turbines 150 feet below the waves near Whidbey Island. The pilot project would generate enough power for about 20 homes annually.

The new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report says that the project will not have significant effects on the environment.

But the National Marine Fisheries Service says construction and operation of the project may adversely affect marine mammals.

A company that owns two underwater fiberoptic cables near the turbines worries that the project could damage their cables and plans to challenge the report’s findings.

The public has until mid-February to comment on the report and then a final Environmental Assessment will be submitted. Snohomish Public Utility District could be given the go-ahead for the project this spring.

A Vancouver company has also applied for a permit to look into putting three tidal turbines around southern Vancouver Island.

Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio