Business, North America, Small Hydro

Truckee Meadows Water Authority nixes rehab for 2.8-MW Farad hydropower plant

The Truckee Meadows Water Authority will not pursue the reconstruction of the 2.8-MW Farad hydroelectric plant, per a decision made by the agency’s board on Wednesday.

Located on the Truckee River in Nevada County, Calif., the facility was constructed by the Truckee River General Electric Co. in 1899 to help power silver mines in the region. Farad operated under TRGE’s successor, the Sierra Pacific Power Co., until 1997, when a flood knocked the plant out of operation.

TMWA has been tasked with deciding Farad’s fate because the authority is about to assume control of the facility, following years of litigation related to insurance coverage associated with the flood.

Terms of the settlement dictate that TMWA could only collect insurance payments if it completes reconstruction of Farad within three years of litigation that was settled in April, though a report submitted by the board’s general counsel last week indicates it has no intention of rehabilitating the project.

“Given current availability and pricing of hydroelectric resources and anticipated uninsured costs of reconstruction, staff believes there does not appear to be a sufficient return on investment to pursue reconstruction,” the document says.

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