Cushman Hydro Project license granted
In 2010, after more than 36 years, Tacoma Power received an acceptable 50-year federal license for its Cushman Hydroelectric Project.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the license, which is retroactive to 1998. It includes the terms of the settlement agreement that Tacoma Power and other government agencies signed with the Skokomish Tribal Nation in January 2009.

The license allows Tacoma Power to operate the Cushman Hydroelectric Project until 2048. Tacoma Power operated the project under short-term licenses while the parties litigated relicensing since 1974, when the original federal license for the Cushman Project expired.

Tacoma Power's partnership with the Tribe

The license set into motion the settlement agreement with the Skokomish Tribal Nation. The Tribe has received money and lands from Tacoma Power, including:


  • $12.6 million one-time cash payment
  • Land valued at $23 million including Skokomish Park at Lake Cushman (formerly Camp Cushman), the 500-acre Nalley Ranch and Saltwater Park on Hood Canal
  • 7.25 percent of the value of electric production from the Cushman No. 2 powerhouse

Powerhouse and fish passage construction
Tacoma Power is constructing new generators at the Cushman Hydroelectric Project to capture some of the energy from the flows released into the North Fork Skokomish River. The three megawatts of electricity produced from that project will help Tacoma Power meet renewable energy targets mandated by state law.

We're also constructing a new, innovative fish collection and passage system that will establish salmon and steelhead runs upstream of the Cushman Hydroelectric Project.

Settlement agreements
In January 2009, Tacoma Power, the Skokomish Tribal Nation and state and federal agencies signed a settlement agreement that resolved a $5.8 billion damages claim and long-standing disputes over the terms of a long-term license for Cushman Hydroelectric Project.

View summaries and frequently-asked questions about topics related to Cushman Hydroelectric Project operations: