Starting in January 2014, the PUD began purchasing energy from Qualco Energy, which operates a biogas facility south of Monroe. It generates energy from a mix of waste products, including cow manure, restaurant trap grease, expired alcohol and soda and other biowastes. The biogas plant offers several benefits. In addition to producing energy, it keeps rivers clean from manure runoff, helping salmon survive. It also creates a market for waste products, which might otherwise go into landfills. As part of the process, the facility also produces compost for farming. It generates up to 450 kilowatts – or enough to power about 300 customers’ homes. Qualco Energy is a nonprofit partnership between Northwest Chinook Recovery, the Tulalip Tribes and the Sno/Sky Agricultural Alliance.
Beginning in early 2022, PUD is partnering to operate a new generator at the Qualco biodigester. This partnership will enable the PUD to maximize generation from the plant increasing the output to 675 kilowatts, which nearly doubles the output from the site – or enough to power about 500 customer homes. Qualco Energy is a nonprofit partnership between Northwest Chinook Recovery, the Tulalip Tribes and the Sno/Sky Agricultural Alliance. The PUD is excited to add to the partnership with local agriculture and Tribes.