Renewable power is electricity that is generated from a renewable resource. “Renewable” generally refers to energy generated by a technology:
- that relies on a renewable fuel source; and
- whose process generates little or no emissions that cause pollution.
Renewable generation sources include hydroelectric projects, wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, landfill gas and biomass.
The PUD purchases about 80 percent of its power from the federal Bonneville Power Administration. The great majority of that power is generated by renewable hydroelectric projects in the Columbia River basin – a resource that has provided abundant, affordable energy to the Northwest for more than 75 years.
Customer research surveys have shown consistent support among PUD customers for including renewable resources in the rest of our power supply mix — even if such resources are more expensive than non-renewable power sources.
The PUD’s other renewable power sources are composed of:
- The Jackson Hydroelectric Project, which uses the force of water to turn turbines that generate electricity. After doing so, that water is treated by the City of Everett to supply most of the drinking water in Snohomish County. The Jackson Project produces an average of about 56 average megawatts per year, enough to serve almost 53,800 homes.
- The Youngs Creek Hydroelectric Project has an output of about 2.4 aMW and is also located in east Snohomish County.
- 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.
- The Hancock Creek and Calligan Creek hydroelectric projects are also low-impact hydroelectric generating facilities near North Bend. Together, they provide about 12 MW of power, enough to power about 10,000 homes.
- A 20% share of the Packwood Hydroelectric Project in Packwood, WA. Total project output is approximately 6 to 9 aMW.
- Purchase of about 2 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 north central Oregon, and the Hay Canyon Wind Project also in north central Oregon.
- The Qualco Energy Biodigester, located in Monroe, generates energy from a mix of waste products, including cow manure, restaurant trap grease, expired alcohol and soda and other biowastes. The facility generates 300 average-kilowatts annually.
The PUD also has been a regional leader in the research of tidal and geothermal energy sources.
Customers wishing to support renewable power can do so directly through our Carbon Solutions program. We provide solar resources and education for the installation of solar photovoltaic systems and information about our community solar projects.
Note: a portion of the PUD’s environmental attributes has been sold to fund the utility’s renewable energy R&D projects.