Pacific Power receives 40-year FERC license for 1.1-MW Wallowa Falls small hydro plant

Pacific Power has received a new 40-year Federal Energy Regulatory Commission operating license for its 1.1-MW Wallowa Falls small hydro plant.

Wallowa Falls, on the Wallowa River in Oregon, began operating in 1921.

As part of the new license, FERC detailed actions Pacific Power needs to take to protect bull trout and their habitat and to improve the recreational experience for visitors to the adjacent area, Pacific Power says.

“We’re proud to have this asset now relicensed so that it can continue supplying power to all Pacific Power customers and supporting recreational opportunities,” said Lori Wyman, regional business manager for Pacific Power. “The planned improvements will be commencing soon and taking place over the next three years.”

Work will include:

  • Increasing year-round minimum flows in the bypassed reach of the East Fork Wallowa River
  • Modifying the dam’s intake structure to allow for release of increased minimum flows
  • Installing a barrier to prevent fish from entering the plant tailrace
  • Surveying and monitoring botanical, aquatic and water quality
  • Reducing visibility of the powerhouse in the recreation area and improving trails, including new signs
  • Installing a real-time stream gage for monitoring compliance with required minimum flows in the bypassed river reach

Pacific Power is a division of PacifiCorp and part of Berkshire Hathaway Energy. The company provides electric service to 740,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. Pacific Power owns 72 generating plants with total capacity of 10,894 MW, with 41 of those being hydroelectric facilities.

For more FERC News, click here.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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