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Power plans

Puget Sound Energy doesn't want to change what it's doing at the company's Snoqualmie Falls power plant, just how it'll be done.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued the company a new 40-year license in 2004 allowing the power plant to continue generating electricity.

The company has been presenting its modified plan to interested parties during the last several months to build support for the revisions when it presents them to the regulatory commission -possibly in September - for an amendment to the license, said Roger Thompson, PSE spokesman.

Basically, PSE now wants to build a lower, wider dam at the top of the Falls than either the one in place now or the one proposed in the current plan. This would involve widening the river to a width closer to its original, natural state, Thompson said.

This has three purposes: it would improve the top water intakes for the power plant, reduce the flood hazard in downtown Snoqualmie and improve the visual aesthetics of the waterfall by reducing the dam's profile, Thompson said. The revisions are based on newer, more accurate studies and community input, said Brian Lenz, PSE government and community relations manager.

However, it also would require the removal of the existing historic machine shop and transformer house.

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