The Snohomish County Public Utility District is in the final phases of permitting to install two 300-tonne tidal turbines in an effort to meet Washington State’s plans to get 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. The utility faces opposition by a telecommunications company that says the the anchors of vessels that would install and maintain the turbines could damage its fibre optic cables.
The Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp installed the cable in the Pacific North-West capable of carrying the equivalent of 23 million telephone calls to Japan 12 years ago. Their opposition to the Puget Sound tidal energy project is supported by the Federal Communication Commission and the US Navy.
The Puget Sound project has been in the works for six years. The Snohomish County PUD is hoping to have a three to five year pilot project in operation by 2014.
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