Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1

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PUD Showcase

Hancock Creek and Calligan Creek Hydroelectric Project Development Team

Team of the Month for November

Team of the Month
For larger image, click here

Our November Team of the Month has done something powerful for the PUD and its customers. Using experience, vision and plain old hard work, they turned raw potential into two long-term clean energy sources. This required exceptional efforts, as demonstrated by the fact that only a handful of utility-scale hydroelectric projects have been completed in Washington over the past 50 years.

The PUD purchased the site that now houses the Hancock Creek and Calligan Creek Hydroelectric Projects in 2010. The land, located above Snoqualmie Falls, had long been coveted by area utilities for its hydropower potential. A subsidiary of PSE had even obtained a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the 1990s to develop the property but never began work.

Why not? Because along with great potential, the site presented challenges. These included the intricacies of constructing hydro projects in a remote location, as well as the demands of licensing. Luckily, the PUD had recent experience on both fronts. In the early years of this decade, the utility completed the Youngs Creek Hydro Project and wrapped up the Jackson Hydro Project relicensing. These efforts proved a perfect launch pad for Hancock and Calligan.

“Every member of the Hancock and Calligan Team brought expertise critical to the success of these two major capital projects,” explained Brad Spangler, Senior Manager of Generation. “Efforts included applied aquatic and terrestrial biology, cultural anthropology, negotiation, professional civil, mechanical and electrical engineering, project management, use of every flavor of SAP and Ariba, as well as hydroelectric and generator assembly, welding, and fabrication.”

Many members of the Hancock and Calligan Team had worked on the Youngs Creek Hydro Project and recognized that it could be used as a model for the new powerhouses. This saved the PUD considerable time and money. They also applied lessons learned from building and operating Youngs Creek to the two new sites. For example, piping was moved to below-the-floor plates to eliminate tripping hazards.

The Team also benefitted from the expert support of other PUD departments, including Environmental Affairs, Facilities, IT, Legal, Pole Yard, Power Scheduling, Real Estate, Safety, Security, Substation, and TeleCom. Retired Employees Karen Bedrossian and Kim Moore also played big roles.

Brad boiled down the Team’s success: “The high caliber of professional expertise and capability of each and every member of the Generation Team allowed the Hancock and Calligan hydroelectric projects to be delivered quickly (less than 24 months, despite work shutdowns due to adjacent forest fires), at a cost savings of nearly $500,000 (by using in-house expertise), and of the highest construction and material quality (as validated by inspectors and PUD operators). All PUD customers benefitted from the Team’s synergistic collaboration.”

Hancock and Calligan Creek deliver enough power to serve 10,000 homes, adding to the PUD’s power resources during the winter months when the energy is needed most. Thanks to the vision of PUD leadership and efforts of this Team, thousands of families will enjoy the benefit of locally produced hydropower for many, many decades to come. 

Kudos to each and every one of you for your contribution to the PUD. Of extra-special note is the fact you did it without a single reported injury. Spectacular work!

Project Team

Brad Spangler Sr. Mgr. Generation
Barry Chrisman Generation Superintendent
Brian Parsley Assistant Generation Superintendent
Bill Easterling OT Engineering Specialist
Gaylin Larson Electrical Technician Constructor
Mark Shayne Generation Constructor
Garth York Generation Utility Worker
Michael Gagnon Electrical Constructor
Mark Brown Mechanical Constructor
Jeff Bergam Mechanical Constructor
Scott Spahr Mgr. Generation Engineering
Mark Flury Senior Project Manager
Sam Nietfeld Principal Engineer
Danny Miles Principal Engineer
Scott Gibson Principal Engineer
Eric Schneider Principal Engineer
Adam Lewis Sr. Utility Analyst
Sue Frese Water Resources Engineering Tech
Shyamsundar Subrahmanyam Engineer
Keith Binkley Mgr. Natural Resources
Andrew McDonnell Sr. Environmental Coordinator
Michael Schutt Sr. Environmental Coordinator
Dawn Presler Sr. Environmental Coordinator
Jessica Spahr Sr. Environmental Coordinator
Larry Lowe< Sr. Environmental Coordinator
Stacy Meissner Business Analyst
Tracy Anderson Generation Services Business Manager
Kelly Baxandall Administrative Assistant
Allison Hagin Administrative Assistant

Recent Awards

  • Hydropower Award (2017)
    The National Hydropower Association honored the PUD with a 2017 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters award for its success in providing access to additional fish habitat in the Sultan River Basin, site of the PUD’s Jackson Hydroelectric Project. In late 2016, the PUD opened up six miles of additional fish habitat on the Sultan River by modifying a diversion dam on the upper reach of the river. Within weeks of the project’s completion, coho salmon were detected upstream – for the first time in nearly 100 years!
  • SAP Utility of the Year (2016)
    The PUD was named Utility of the Year by SAP, a multinational software corporation, for the utility’s ongoing “ONE” program, a multi-year software implementation that creates a foundation for the utility’s future business growth. The program greatly consolidates hundreds of software programs as part of a PUD continuous improvement effort.
  • Metering & Smart Energy International (2016)
    South African Metering & Smart Energy International, a media and research organization serving the utility industry, honored the PUD as a Global Smart Energy Elite for both its work with cybersecurity and utility transformation through the ONE program. The PUD achievements will be featured in the organization’s fall magazine.
  • NWPPA Excellence in Communication Award (2016)
    First Place/Publication: 2016 Current Calendar
  • NWPPA Excellence in Communication Award (2016)
    First Place/Social Media

To see more awards, click here.