EERE Success Story—Hydropower Generators Will Deliver New Energy from an Old Dam

April 18, 2013

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The City of Tacoma, with EERE support, installed two Francis turbine/generator units to an existing dam, Cushman No. 2, which is part of the Cushman Hydroelectric Project owned by Tacoma Power. The new generating units added approximately 3.6 megawatts in generating capacity by using currently diverted, unutilized water flow. This expanded capacity is expected to produce more than 23,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually—enough to power approximately 2,000 homes for a year. The project also developed and installed an innovative fish collection and passage system that is reintroducing Washington’s endangered steelhead and salmon populations upstream of the Cushman Hydroelectric Project for the first time since the dams were constructed in the late 1920s. The City of Tacoma and other project participants contributed $18.9 million to this project.

The Water Power Program is committed to developing and deploying a portfolio of innovative technologies for clean, domestic power generation from resources such as hydropower, waves, and tides.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) success stories highlight the positive impact of its work with businesses, industry partners, universities, research labs, and other entities.

Project Overview

Positive Impact

Increased hydroelectric power generation. City of Tacoma expands hydroelectric dam to produce more than 23,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually.

Locations

Washington

Partners

City of Tacoma

EERE Investment

$4.67 million

Clean Energy Sector

Renewable electricity generation