PUD on the cutting edge of new electricity

It sounds like science fiction, but they're not bluffing at the Snohomish County Public Utilities District.

"We're aggressive," said Craig Collar with the PUD, "we're out there doing things that aren't necessarily easy, but that have great potential in the longer term."

He's talking about the district's cutting-edge technology.

KOMO Newsradio's Ian Sterling got an inside peek at the power house of one of the utility's small creek-driven hydro plants that generates enough electricity to light several hundred homes.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

The PUD is also looking into geo-thermal energy, which uses heat from the earth to turn steam turbines and generate power.

According to Collar, the PUD has drilled test wells near Sultan that look promising.

The feds have so far pledged $12 million toward a project off Port Townsend that would drop massive turbines into our state's salt water to harness the power of the tides.

"This is the premier tidal energy project in the country," Collar said, "there are others - but not on this scale." They hope to have the turbines running by 2013.

It's an exciting future for PUD - and their customers.

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