Daily Journal of Commerce
Puget Sound Energy received a green light from federal regulators to move forward with $250 million in capital improvements to the Snoqualmie Falls Hydroelectric Project.
The 111-year-old power-generating plant is 30 miles east of Seattle. The utility will make upgrades to the power-generating infrastructure as well as the recreational facilities, which draw 2 million visitors a year.
Construction is expected to ramp up in September and continue in phases through 2014. Some of the projects were approved prior to an operating license amendment that was granted last week.
The work includes: • Replacement of one generator in the Plant 2 powerhouse, and replacement of one generator and retrofitting of four circa-1898 generators in the Plant 1 powerhouse. • Replacement of the water-intake structures and upgrade of the penstocks, 7 to 10 foot-wide steel water pipes that deliver river water to the powerhouse turbines. • Refurbishment of a concrete diversion dam that spans most of the Snoqualmie River just upstream from the crest of Snoqualmie Falls. • Installation of automatic shut-off gates in the gate house above Plant 2 • Installation of turbine-bypass valves at Plant 2 • Improved hiking trails and walkways in Snoqualmie Falls Park, including reconstruction of a boardwalk trail along the Snoqualmie River • Better riverfront access and parking for kayakers and boaters downstream of Plant 2 • New recreation facilities and public restrooms in the lower park Plant 2 area • New interpretive signs, landscaping, habitat restoration, fencing and lighting
Information about the project, including estimated start and completion dates for individual project elements, is available online at pse.com.