Crocker-Huffman Dam Hydroelectric Project

Merced River, California.

Project Profile & Applicant

FERC Project No.14451 is proposed next to Merced Irrigation District’s (MID) Crocker-Huffman Dam on the Merced River, Merced County, California. Crocker-Huffman Dam is a non-FERC dam that diverts water into MID’s Main Canal for irrigation uses. However, this dam is also operated in coordination with two FERC projects just upstream (P-2467 by Pacific Gas and Electric Company and P-2179 by MID;see Merced/Merced Falls Hydroelectric Projects Sheet). This 2 megawatt Project is the second proposal in California to use “Archimedes-Screw Turbines” (Screw-turbines) to generate power. The Applicant is Archon Energy 1, Inc. (AE).

The proposed Project would consist of the following facilities:  A Water Intake/Diversion Device upstream of Crocker-Huffman Dam that diverts water from the Merced River into a short Power Canal. The Power Canal delivers water into a 70-foot by 55-foot by 35-foot Powerhouse containing an array of five 400 kilowatt Screw-turbines. The Powerhouse would discharge into a short Tailrace Canal that discharges into the Merced River. There currently is an inoperative fish ladder on Crocker-Huffman Dam. Although the Project does not propose to reactivate this ladder or develop any type of fish passage facility, such a feature would be desirable, as this dam is also the limit of anadromy on the Merced River.

Federally Threatened - Listed Species/Species of Concern

  1. The distinct population segment (DPS) of California Central Valley (CV) steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and its critical habitat;
  2. The evolutionarily significant unit (ESU) of spring-run Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) and its critical habitat;
  3. The DPS of North American green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) and its critical habitat;
  4. The ESU of CV fall-run Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) [Species of Concern]; and
  5. Any resident rainbow trout (O. mykiss) (as this form may exhibit an anadromous lifestyle periodically).

FERC Relicensing Status

Preliminary Permit Application (PPA) and Traditional Licensing Process (TLP): AE filed its PPA in August 2012 and updated it in November 2012. FERC Noticed the PPA in January 2013 and NMFS provided comments in March 2013. FERC issued the Preliminary Permit in April 2013 and AE submitted its first 6-month progress report in October 2013. AE has chosen not to file a NOI or PAD as yet.

Resources

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC eLibrary, Docket P-14451.