Puget Sound Tides Won't Produce Power For Now | KUOW News and Information

Puget Sound Tides Won't Produce Power For Now

Jan 8, 2016

A Washington utility has surrendered its federal license to install tidal turbines at the bottom of Puget Sound.

The Snohomish County Public Utility District wanted to put two turbines on the bottom of Puget Sound near Whidbey Island. But at the very end of last year it gave up its federal license.

It was a pilot project and would have been the first of its kind here. As the tides flowed in and out, the turbines would spin and generate enough power at maximum output for about 500 homes.

But it just took too long to get it approved, said Neil Neroutsos, a spokesperson for Snohomish PUD.

"We didn’t anticipate the licensing process to take us seven to eight years. That was one of the contributors to the project becoming more complicated," Neroutsos said.

The project also ran into opposition from a Japanese telecommunications company that has an underwater cable near the proposed turbine site.

Environmentalists also raised concerns about the turbines potentially impacting whales and other marine life.

Snohomish PUD spent $4.5 million on the project. The utility says it’s focusing on other renewable energy sources like geothermal and solar.

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