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Hydropower

For the PUD, hydropower is key to reliably meeting community electricity needs and helping both the utility and region transition to a cleaner energy future.

Hydroelectric power accounts for more than 85% of the PUD’s portfolio of generating resources. Contracts for Bonneville Power Administration projects supply most of our hydropower (~75%). PUD’s owned-and-operated resources provide another ~10%; these include the Henry M. Jackson, Woods Creek, Youngs Creek, Calligan Creek, and Hancock Creek hydroelectric projects.

Why hydropower makes sense for the PUD

  • Carbon-free generation resource
  • Located outside sensitive wild and scenic and wilderness areas
  • Abundant source of water in our area to “fuel” generation
  • Less variable generation helps planning
  • Reservoir systems act as battery, providing power when needed
  • Complements intermittent (solar and wind) resources
  • Provides multiple uses including flood control, water supply, recreation, fish habitat
  • A proven technology with predictable, manageable operating costs
  • Have long lives, up to 100 years or more

Hydropower provides essential regional ancillary and reliability services, ensuring regional grid stability and flexibility, such as:

  • Regulation and frequency response
  • Load-following and flexibility reserve
  • Energy imbalance service
  • Spinning and supplemental reserve
  • Reactive power and voltage support
  • Black start (restoration) service

Jackson Hydro

Producing power since 1984, this PUD hydropower project also offers recreational sites at Spada Lake Reservoir.
A jewel in the Sultan Basin >

Woods Creek Hydro

Online in 2008, this PUD hydropower project also features a sustainable Food Forest that produces apples, pears and plums.
Located in Monroe >

Calligan Creek Hydro

This PUD hydropower project relies on the force of water to spin its turbines, instead of a reservoir.
Located near North Bend >

Hancock Creek Hydro

This PUD hydropower project is similar to the Calligan Creek Hydro project and built at the same time.
Located near the Snoqualmie River >

Youngs Creek

Online in 2011, this PUD hydropower project was the first new hydro facility built in Washington state in 20 years.
Located in Sultan >

Bonneville Power Administration

This federal agency provides about half of the electricity used in the Northwest and operates more than three-quarters of the region’s high-voltage transmission lines.
Most of BPA's dams are hydropower >

Packwood Hydro Project

The PUD has a 20% share, or 2 MW of power on average from the Packwood Hydroelectric Project. This 27.5 MW nameplate capacity hydro resource was developed in 1964 by Energy Northwest and is located 20 miles south of Mount Rainier, in Packwood, Washington.