View Snohomish County PUD Renewable Resources in a larger map
Renewable or green power is the energy that is generated from a renewable resource. What constitutes a “renewable” resource differs by region, but it generally refers to power that is generated using a technology:
- That relies on a renewable fuel source, such as wind, sunlight, or plant matter;
- That has minimal impact on the environment; and
- Whose process generates little or no emissions that cause pollution.
Other examples of renewable generation sources include geothermal, solar, landfill gas, wind, biomass, and small hydroelectric projects.
At the PUD, our customer research surveys have shown consistent support for including renewable resources in our power supply mix — even if that resource is more expensive than traditional power sources. Green energy currently accounts for about 16% of our power portfolio.
Our green energy sources are composed of:
- The Jackson Hydroelectric Project, which uses the force of water to turn turbines that generate electricity (not all hydropower facilities are considered green power -- usually only smaller projects like ours, which have a minimal impact on the environment).
- The Woods Creek Hydroelectric Project, an example of a low-impact hydroelectric generating facility, located in east Snohomish County. It produces about 0.5 aMW per year.
- A 20% share of the Packwood Hydroelectric Project in Packwood, WA. Through 2008, the PUD had assigned its share to Franklin and Benton County PUDs. The PUD currently purchases 100% of the output through 2011. Total project output is approximately 6 to 9 aMW.
- The Youngs Creek Hydroelectric Project has an output of 3 aMW and is also located in east Snohomish County
- Purchase of about 1 aMW from the Hampton Lumber Mill biomass facility in Darrington.
- Three power purchase agreements with Northwest wind projects: White Creek Wind Project in south central Washington, the Wheat Field Wind Project in central Oregon, and the Hay Canyon Wind Project also in central Oregon.
- Klickitat County PUD’s Landfill Gas Project, which converts garbage into methane gas that is then used to generate electricity.
The PUD is also exploring tidal and geothermal as potential new resources for our power supply.
We now have a way for customers to support renewable resource power directly through our Planet Power program. Our Solar Express Program provides financial incentives for the installation of solar photovoltaic systems or solar hot water systems.
Note: a portion of the PUD's environmental attributes has been sold to fund the utility's renewable energy R&D projects.