Monthly Archives: May 2015

Tacoma Power fish ladder strikes balance of aesthetics and function

By Chelsea Vitone
News Tribune

Tacoma Power has spent millions to install mechanical devices for getting fish around its Cushman dams to honor a 2009 legal settlement with the Skokomish Tribe.

Among the improvements: A fish-collection system at the utility’s lower dam complete with a tram to move adult fish up the 175-foot dam.

But fish don’t make it to Cushman Dam No. 2 for that ride toward spawning grounds if they can’t get past Little Falls two miles downstream. As the utility worked to rebuild fish populations, experts noticed that migrating salmon and steelhead would gather below Little Falls, unable to ascend.

Tacoma Power could have solved the problem by bolting a pre-manufactured aluminum or steel fish ladder to the rock, Generation Manager Pat McCarty said. But that wouldn’t have protected the beauty of the culturally significant spot, which was once prime fishing grounds for the tribe.

So the utility collaborated with tribal officials, environmental consultants, and regulatory agencies to create a more natural-looking fish ladder at the Mason County location. They came up with a plan to ease fish passage by carving ascending resting pools into existing bedrock in the two channels of Little Falls. Read more

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CenturyLink leasing hydro-run server farm

By Staff
Spokesman Review

CenturyLink is leasing a hydropowered server farm facility in Moses Lake, the company announced Wednesday.

The sustainability of hydropower drew CenturyLink to the facility, a news release said. What’s more, the site has a very low seismic rating, making it attractive for disaster recovery, the release said.

The 136,000-square-foot facility is owned by Server Farm Realty, a private company. It once was the command and control center for the Titan Missile Defense Program and was built to withstand a 10-megaton bomb, according to Server Farm Realty’s website.

Moses Lake’s high-desert climate also provides for naturally cooled air during many seasons, resulting in further energy savings, the website said. Read more

Posted in Hydropower, Northwest Hydropower News | Comments Off on CenturyLink leasing hydro-run server farm