NID maintains and operates the Yuba-Bear Hydroelectric Power Project under an original 50-year license granted by the federal government in 1963. The District is currently in the process of completing a multi-year effort to relicense the Yuba-Bear Project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The Yuba-Bear Project consists of:
- Nine on-stream reservoirs including Jackson Meadows and Milton reservoirs on the Middle Yuba River; Jackson Lake on Jackson Creek; French, Faucherie, Sawmill and Bowman Lakes on Canyon Creek; and Dutch Flat Afterbay and Rollins Reservoir on the Bear River,
- Three off-stream impoundments including Dutch Flat Forebay, Little York Basin and Chicago Park Forebay,
- Five diversion dams (Texas Creek, Clear Creek, Trap Creek, Rucker Creek and Fall Creek),
- Four powerhouses at Bowman, Dutch Flat, Chicago Park and Rollins,
- One overhead, 60 kilovolt transmission line,
- Various water conduits, recreation facilities and related facilities and structures.
The combined gross water storage capacity of the Project is about 207,865 acre-feet of water and the electric generation capacity is 79.32 megawatts.
NID’s Hydropower operations are a huge win for customers. In addition to contributing millions in revenues from power sales to offset water rates for the customer, Hydro also covers all of the costs of upper division water storage, conveyance, delivery, maintenance, and operations through the District’s mid-elevation storage reservoirs of Rollins, Scotts Flat and Combie including 13 reservoirs and 20.75 miles of pipes, flumes, tunnels and open ditch canals.
Though not yet final, the new FERC license will bring many benefits to customers, the community, and the environment including:
- As much as $216 million in infrastructure improvements, recreation enhancements at Rollins and 11 other reservoirs, environmental monitoring, studies, and mitigation efforts.
- Up to 60,000 acre-feet per year of NID’s water supply must be dedicated to flow requirements to enhance riparian and aquatic habitat for fish and other species and cannot be used by NID to meet customer demand (up from 5,000 acre-feet per year from the previous license)
- Additional operational changes to affect instream temperature and other environmental benefits
For More Information about FERC relicensing of the Yuba Bear Project, click here.