Hydroelectricity has helped power the United States with carbon-free, renewable energy for more than 135 years. In honor of America’s first renewable energy resource and its value to the Pacific Northwest, Snohomish County PUD is proud to recognize National Hydropower Day on Friday, August 23, 2019.
National Hydropower Day celebrates hydropower’s contributions to America’s clean energy infrastructure. Thanks largely to hydropower, the PUD’s energy mix is proudly 98% carbon and emissions free.
The PUD receives more than 80% of its electricity through a long-standing partnership with the Bonneville Power Administration and its vast network of Northwest hydroelectric projects. The PUD also operates five of its own hydro projects. The largest is the Henry M. Jackson Hydro Project on the Sultan River, which generates enough carbon-free energy to power more than 53,000 homes and businesses in Snohomish County.
One of hydropower’s often overlooked benefits is its affordability. States, like Washington, that receive most of their electricity from hydropower enjoy some of the lowest energy costs in the nation. Hydroelectric projects in the Northwest produce more electricity for the region’s residents and businesses than any other North American river system.
“Hydropower is the backbone of our service,” says John Haarlow, Snohomish County PUD CEO and General Manager. “It plays a key role in our commitment to affordable, reliable, safe and environmentally sustainable power. PUD customer-owners can be proud knowing their homes, their schools and their businesses are largely powered by hydroelectricity.”
Hydropower makes up the largest share of clean, renewable electricity generated in the United States. In 2018, it represented 7% of the nation’s total electricity generation and almost 40% of renewable electricity generation. More than 66,000 workers are employed in the hydropower industry. Hydropower facilities can operate up to 100 years or more.
Snohomish County PUD serves more than 350,000 electric customers and approximately 21,000 water customers. It is the second largest public utility in the Northwest, and the 12th largest in the nation. In addition to hydropower, the PUD generates and distributes energy from biomass, wind and solar sources.