PUGET SOUND ENERGY (PSE) HAS decided to close down its 70MW Lake Tapps hydro plant after 92 years of operation.

PSE declined to renew its license in 1997, citing costly license restrictions required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Seven years on, PSE says this is still the case. According to PSE the federal license and federal fish-protection conditions will cost the private utility about US$100/MW for power generation, whereas it can buy electricity elsewhere for about US$40–45/MW.

However, moves are afoot to save Lake Tapps by a group of local water utilities known as the Cascade Water Alliance, which wants to use the Lake Tapps and its water diversion from the White river as a drinking water supply.