Snohomish County PUD issues bonds for pair of new hydropower projects

Snoqualmie Falls Hydropower Project

The Snohomish County Public Utility District has issues about $40 million in tax-exempt bonds that will help pay for the design and construction of two new hydroelectric plants.

The Everett-based utility said it benefitted from "very favorable" market conditions in locking in borrowing rates for the 30-year bonds, made possible by the Federal Reserve's decision not to raise interest rates mid-September.

The bonds will provide funding for new hydropower projects on Washington's Calligan and Hancock creeks, both of which are located upstream from Snoqualmie Falls near North Bend.

Snohomish County PUD broke ground on the yet-to-be-named plants earlier this month. Together, the projects will provide enough power for about 10,000 homes when put into operation in 2017-18. Licenses issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) earlier this year indicate that each plant will have an output capacity of 6 MW.

"These renewable energy sources are attractive to the utility in that they're available locally, emit no noxious gas and their output can be maximized at the times of the year when the energy is needed the most," Snohomish County PUD said in a release. "They are among the lowers priced renewable energy sources."

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