About the Snoqualmie Falls Project
The Snoqualmie Falls Hydroelectric Project is located on the Snoqualmie River in Snoqualmie, Washington. The Project consists of a low diversion dam located 150 feet upstream from Snoqualmie Falls and two powerhouses (Plants 1 and 2) with a total generating capacity of 54 megawatts. Snoqualmie Falls Plant 1, located in a cavern 270 feet below Snoqualmie Falls, was originally built in 1898 as the world's first completely underground powerhouse. Snoqualmie Falls Plant 2, about a quarter-mile downstream from Plant 1, was built in 1910 and expanded in 1957.
Puget Sound Energy redeveloped the Snoqualmie Falls Project between 2010 and 2015, making extensive improvements to Plants 1 and Plant 2 as well as Snoqualmie Falls Park and historic buildings near the falls.
Licensing the Snoqualmie Falls Project
The Federal Power Commission, now known as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), issued the original license for the Snoqualmie Falls Project as Project No. 2493 on May 13, 1975. The license, which was made retroactively effective as of March 1, 1956, expired on December 31, 1993.
As the end of a licensing period approaches, the FERC requires a thorough re-evaluation of a hydroelectric project before issuing a new license. The FERC's relicensing process can require years of extensive planning and collaboration that includes environmental studies, federal and state agency consultation and public involvement. The FERC must ensure that all issues and concerns related to a hydroelectric project are identified and discussed.
PSE filed a license application with the FERC on November 25, 1991. The FERC issued a new 40-year license for the Snoqualmie Falls Project on June 29, 2004. Meeting the many requirements in the license will continue to be a day-by-day job during the entire 40-year term, as PSE addresses the environmental, cultural, recreational and public-safety provisions in the license.
Snoqualmie License Amendment Order 2009
Snoqualmie Falls Project: FERC Order of New License Amended
Snoqualmie Falls Project: FERC Order of New License