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Joint News Release from NID and PG&E: PG&E Sells Deer Creek Powerhouse, Canals to Nevada Irrigation District

NEVADA CITY, Calif. – The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) has purchased the Deer Creek Powerhouse and water conveyance facilities from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).

Escrow closed yesterday on the powerhouse near Nevada City, and includes related assets: the Chalk Bluff Canal, most of the South Yuba Canal, and the Deer Creek Forebay.

PG&E made the decision to sell the powerhouse and associated facilities because they are no longer economic for the company. NID, however, has long received water from the facility for its customers and will also benefit from hydropower generation from the Deer Creek Powerhouse.

In late 2018, NID’s board of directors authorized its general manager to execute a purchase and sale agreement for the facilities, which includes about 18 miles of the South Yuba and Chalk Bluff canals that convey water from PG&E’s Spaulding Reservoir to the Deer Creek Forebay.

Federal and state regulatory authorities, including the California Public Utilities Commission, approved the transfer in 2019. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) created a separate license for the Deer Creek Powerhouse so NID could acquire the facilities. It previously had been bundled with PG&E’s Drum-Spaulding Project license.

There are no PG&E employee impacts as the employees who support the facilities also maintain and operate several other PG&E powerhouses, reservoirs and conveyance systems in Nevada and Placer counties.
The Deer Creek facilities are located near Nevada City and began operating in 1908. The powerhouse has a generating capacity of 5.7 megawatts. \

“The Chalk Bluff and South Yuba Canals are significant components for NID water deliveries,” said NID General Manager Jennifer Hanson. “More than 30,000 people are served by this canal system, including the cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City, local fire stations, the Grass Valley Air Attack Base, county and city hydrant systems, schools, the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, and most of the district’s irrigation customers in Nevada County.”

As part of the sale, NID will dedicate a 700-acre conservation easement to the Bear Yuba Land Trust to protect the transferred lands from development in the future.

About NID
Formed in 1921 to provide irrigation water to area farms and ranches, today Nevada Irrigation District is a diversified water resource district that supplies both treated drinking water and irrigation water to nearly 25,000 homes, farms and businesses in Nevada and Placer counties. NID collects water from the Sierra Nevada snowpack and stores it in an extensive system of 10 reservoirs. As water flows to customers in the foothills, it is used to generate clean hydroelectric energy and to provide public recreational opportunities. For more information, visit

About PG&E
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit and

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