Baker project licensed for 50 years

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Last Friday, FERC issued a 50-year license to the Puget Sound Energy Inc. for operation of Baker River Hydroelectric Project (P-2150) in Skagit and Whatcom counties, Washington.The license accompanies a Settlement Agreement signed by the licensee, state and federal resource agencies, tribes, counties, and non-governmental groups. The license allows Puget Energy to construct a new powerhouse to accomodate new generators which would increase the installed capacity at the lower development by 30 MW bringing the total installed capacity of the entire project to 200.03 MW. Based on the Settlement Agreement, the license also requires Puget Sound to upgrade the existing upstream and downstream fish passage facilities and to construct a salmon hatchery at its Sulphur Creek facility near the Upper Baker development. Puget sound will also adopt measures to protect wildlife, reduce shoreline erosion, enhance recreational facilities and to establish a funding mechanism to support such measures.