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Report due next month on future of Morse Creek hydro project

April 17th, 2014 - 5:26am

(PORT ANGELES) The Morse Creek hydro electric facility is undergoing additional scrutiny as the City of Port Angeles tries to decide the fate of the dam that began providing electrical power back in 1987.

The facility has actually been off line since 2012, when a critical piece of machinery failed. At its peak, it only provided .3 percent of the city's power. Finances have always been an issue, and because of increased operating costs, the facility was also shut down from 1997 through 2004.

Port Angles deputy director of power and telecommunications, Phil Lusk says in February, the city hired the McMillen consulting firm based in Boise, to evaluate the Morse Creek facility. They specialize in analysis and evaluation of hydropower projects, and should have their report ready for the city by May this year.

The facility was originally built in 1924 as a means of providing the city of Port Angeles with water. To Lusk's knowledge, it is the only hydroelectric project built on the North Olympic Peninsula other than the former Elwha and Glines Canyon dams.

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