McCloud-Pit Hydroelectric Project

McCloud and Pitt Rivers, California.

Project Profile & Licensee

FERC Project P-2106 is owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). This Project is located on the McCloud and Pitt rivers, upstream of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s (USBR) Shasta Dam (on the Sacramento River), in Shasta County, California. The Project includes 5 dams/reservoirs, 2 tunnels, and 3 powerhouses (364 megawatts (MW)). In addition, PG&E is proposing to add 2 additional powerhouses for an additional 18 MW. The McCloud-Pitt/P-2106 Projects’ facilities are described below:

McCloud Dam on the McCloud River forms McCloud Reservoir. The first Proposed Powerhouse (8 MW) is to be at the base of McCloud Dam, discharging into the McCloud River. The McCloud Tunnel delivers water into the Iron Canyon Reservoir/Dam on Iron Canyon Creek. The Iron Canyon Tunnel delivers water from Iron Canyon Reservoir into the James B. Black Penstock/Powerhouse (172 MW), which discharges into the Pitt 6 Reservoir/Dam on the lower Pitt River (this reservoir also receives flow from the Pitt 5 Powerhouse of the Pitt River/P-233 Project). The Pitt 6 Dam contains Pitt 6 Powerhouse (80 MW) and discharges into the Pitt 7 Reservoir/Dam. The Pitt 7 Dam contains the Pitt 7 Powerhouse (112 MW) and discharges into the Pitt 7 Afterbay/Dam. The second Proposed Powerhouse (10 MW) is to be at an enlarged Pitt 7 Afterbay Dam. This powerhouse would discharge into the Pitt River Arm of Lake Shasta.

Federally Threatened - Listed Species/ Species of Concern

Currently, there are no anadromous fish in the McCloud River basin or in the lower Pitt River (upstream of Shasta Dam). However, NMFS issued a Biological Opinion (BO) on the USBR that contained a “Reasonable and Prudent Alternative” (RPA) that directed the USBR to develop a “Fish Passage Committee” and implement a fish passage program over Shasta Dam and into “suitable habitat in the McCloud River and/or upper Sacramento River basins.” The USBR has initiated studies towards the implementation of this fish passage RPA. Although no exact decision has been made as to a preferred location for fish reintroductions, NMFS’ Central Valley Recovery Plan designated the McCloud River basin as a primary candidate area for fish reintroductions.

FERC Relicensing Status

Integrated Licensing Process: FERC issued its Final EIS in February 2011. After negotiations with NMFS, FERC concurred that it was reasonably foreseeable that anadromous fish may be reintroduced into the McCloud River basin, based on the BO’s RPA for fish passage. Thus, FERC included a term in its Final EIS to have PG&E participate in the USBR’s Fish Passage Committee. The State Water Resources Control Board is working on Section 401 Water Quality Certification.

Resources

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC eLibrary: Docket P-2106.