Tacoma Power received a 35-year federal license for its Cowlitz River Hydroelectric Project in 2003. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the license.

The Cowlitz River Project, constructed in the 1960s, is Tacoma Power’s largest generating facility. It produces enough power each year to serve more than 140,000 Northwest homes.

Tacoma Power involved many stakeholders in the licensing process. Along with FERC, it included representatives from:

  • Local, state and federal agencies
  • Tribes
  • Local, state and national environmental and sport fishing organizations

The result of the process was a settlement agreement and a new FERC license.

One of the focal points in the license is supporting natural-origin salmon stocks in the Cowlitz River. The Fisheries Technical Committee, formed by the settlement agreement, continues to guide that process.

Many recreational improvements were required by the license, and most are completed and actively used by visitors. Tacoma Power also provides ongoing protection for cultural resources on Cowlitz River Project lands. The wildlife program continued in the new license. Tacoma Power purchased more land and continues to fund one of the largest wildlife management areas in Western Washington.

For more information, send us an e-mail at cowlitz@cityoftacoma.org.