Snohomish PUD celebrates completion of Calligan, Hancock small hydro plants

Snohomish County Public Utility District has commissioned a pair of small hydroelectric power projects in Washington’s Snoqualmie Valley.

The Calligan Creek and Hancock Creek will each add 6 MW to the Everett-based utility’s portfolio. The duo began production last week with a ceremony that included Snohomish PUD commissioners Kathleen Vaughn, Sidney Logan and dozens of employees and community members.

The plants are located on Snoqualmie River tributaries and will operate from fall through the spring, when the creeks that feed them often run nearly dry. Snohomish PUD said they will primarily help it meet increased demand during Washington’s cold season.

Calligan Creek and Hancock Creek are both run-of-river facilities, and were located upstream of Snoqualmie Falls, given the waterfall acts as a natural fish barrier. Still, fish ladders were installed at each plant for trout that might make it to those reaches of the stream.

The utility broke ground on the projects in September 2015 after receiving license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier the same year. The company then issued about $40 million in tax-exempt bonds that covered the majority of the plants’ combined $60 million cost.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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