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News Release: February 19, 2009 Print this page
Docket No: P-2145-060

FERC issues license for Hydropower Project in Washington State

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today approved the issuance of a new license to Public Utility District No. 1 Chelan County, Washington, for the Rocky Reach Hydroelectric Project on the mid-Columbia River. The license ensures the continued operation of the project, which provides an annual net energy production in excess of 6 million megawatt-hours of electric energy to the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.

"Having driven past this dam many times, and even having had the pleasure of visiting it, I am delighted we are approving the relicensing of the Rocky Reach Project in my home state of Washington," FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller said. "This decision is made all the more gratifying by Chelan PUD's implementation of the Habitat Conservation Plan - a plan negotiated with federal, state, tribal and environmental representatives. I applaud everyone for their innovative and collaborative approach to managing our hydropower resources while protecting the salmon and steelhead that migrate through the project."

The license contains environmental mitigation measures to protect resources in the vicinity of the project, including plans to protect shoreline erosion, water quality, white sturgeon, bull trout, Pacific lamprey, historic properties and cultural resources. The license also provides for wildlife and recreation management plans. The environmental measures included in the license were determined after a complete review of all of the issues and numerous public input.

"We conclude that the project's power, low cost, displacement of nonrenewable fossil-fueled generation, and contributions to the region's diversified generation mix will help meet a need for power in the region," FERC said in its relicensing order.

Under the new license, the Rocky Reach Project has an installed capacity of 865.76 megawatts. Today's license includes provisions of a settlement agreement and is for a 43-year term. The original license for the project was issued in 1957 and expired on June 30, 2006. The project has been operating since then under an annual license.

R-09-11

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Updated: June 28, 2010