The Skagit River Hydroelectric Project is a series of three dams that provide 20% of Seattle City Light’s power. The Skagit Project is licensed under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which authorizes City Light to construct and operate the project to produce electricity.
With the current Skagit Project license set to expire on Apr. 30, 2025, City Light began the mandatory multi-year relicensing process in Apr. 2020. Between 2020 and 2023, City Light will collaborate with local partners to develop an application for a new license that will last for the next 30-50 years.
City Light is working with 38 partner organizations and consulting parties—including federal and state agencies, Indian tribes, and non-governmental organizations—to gather information needed to ensure the protection of natural and cultural resources within the Skagit Project area for the duration of the new license. Those studies began during the summer of 2020 and continue through 2023.
Recreation studies will evaluate how visitors use the area around the project for boating and hiking. Studies focused on fisheries will determine the timing and amount of water to release from the dams that will protect adult salmon when they are spawning and young fish when they emerge from their eggs. Protection of cultural resources such as historic buildings and archaeological sites will be evaluated for their significance and vulnerability. The Skagit River Valley is home to many unique plants, some with medicinal properties. Many animals, such as goshawks and fishers, need large tracts of wild forests to thrive. Studies will guide the development of habitat management plans to protect these species.
Renewing our federal operating license will allow City Light’s Skagit Project to continue producing clean, carbon-free energy while also safeguarding the cultural and natural resources within the project area.
Under the new license, City Light will:
- Adapt to changing climate and energy market conditions.
- Continue to work with partners to protect and improve natural and cultural resources.
- Optimize power generation and non-power benefits like flood control, downstream fish habitat protection, and recreation.
- Use cutting-edge science to protect resources and mitigate for project effects.
- Identify opportunities to reduce electricity costs for City Light customers.
Relicensing Process and Schedule
City Light will host public meetings to present its Proposed Study Plan to FERC and licensing participants on Jan. 6 and Jan. 12-14, 2021. Please see the meeting agenda for information about how to join these meetings online or by phone.
Public Documents Library
Visit the online library to find Skagit Project relicensing documents, background information about the Skagit River watershed and additional resources.
Contact the Project Team
Click below to contact City Light staff for additional questions about the following Skagit Project relicensing and resource management topics:
- General questions
- Cultural resources
- Recreational resources
- Terrestrial resources
- Fisheries and aquatic resources