The San Juan archipelago lies along the axis of tidal movement between Straits of Juan de Fuca and Strait of Georgia in the Salish Sea. The amplitude of the tidal exchange produces significant tidal currents between the islands, as well as in Rosario Strait to the east and Haro Strait to the west. These currents are of interest as a future source of electrical power generation, given the archipelago’s dependence on electricity supply by a subsea cable from the United States mainland. Here, we evaluate the tidal current energy potential in this region through a re-analysis of measurements collected by the National Ocean Service (NOS) and a high-resolution numerical model. Given the considerable variations in water depth and vertical velocity profiles across candidate tidal energy sites, we consider the trade-offs between tidal turbines deployed from a floating platform and those anchored to the seabed. Measurement re-analysis indicates several locations that could support tidal current power generation by MW-scale turbines with an acceptable balance between turbine size, rated power, and capacity factor. Even for relatively large (30 m) turbine diameters, surface-deployed turbines would be expected to produce up to 30 % more electricity than the same turbine deployed near the seabed due to vertical shear, with this difference increasing for smaller diameter turbines. As anticipated for sparse measurements, the regional simulation identifies several locations with power generation potential more than twice as high as locations in the measurement re-analysis. These sites were either not surveyed or excluded due to data quality issues. A benchmark comparison at the measurement locations with the highest power generation potential shows relatively good model fidelity, though time-average power density disagreements of ± 50 % persist throughout the water column. In addition to the case study, we also treat three general considerations for measurement data: (1) the accuracy of energy generation estimates from hub height speed relative to rotor-averaged power density, (2) the feasibility of extrapolating profiles towards the surface and seabed, and (3) trends in energy generation with rotor size and position in the water column. Overall, these results demonstrate that models and measurements can be used in a complementary manner for tidal energy site assessment and that tidal currents could be an important source of electricity generation in the San Juan archipelago.