Snohomish PUD will begin a project to explore local tidal energy, a sustainable source of power that draws energy from the movement of tides.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted unanimously on March 20 to issue a license to Snohomish PUD for a tidal energy pilot project for Admiralty Inlet, according to a Snohomish PUD press release. The inlet is just west of Whidbey Island.
Two 19.2 foot high, 207 ton, 300-kW turbines will be installed at a depth of about 200 feet. The project will include monitoring devices on the turbines, which will monitor the environmental impact, according to FERC documents.
PUD officials plan to move forward with construction and deployment over the next two years.
Because the tides are more predictable than sunshine or the wind, tidal energy is one of the more reliable forms of sustainable energy.
"The Admiralty Inlet project is an innovative attempt to harness previously untapped energy resources," said acting FERC chairperson Cheryl LeFleur.
"Anyone who has spent time on the waters of Puget Sound understands the power inherent in the tides," said PUD General Manager Steve Klein. "In granting this license, the FERC acknowledges the vigilant efforts of the PUD and its partners to test the viability of a new reliable source of clean energy while at the same time ensuring the protection of the environment and existing uses."