Priest Rapids Hydroelectric Project Relicensing
Located on the mid-Columbia River, the Priest Rapids Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 2114) is an integral part of a seven-dam hydroelectric system, which is the single largest coordinated hydroelectric system in the country. Faced with upcoming relicensing of the project, Grant County PUD turned to us for assistance in developing a successful relicensing strategy. The hydroelectric project is composed of two developments, Priest Rapids and Wanapum dams. With a combined capacity of 1,900-megawatts it spans nearly a 60-mile river reach with more than 160 miles of shorelines and 60 miles of transmission lines.
The complex river system called for extensive coordination with regulatory, resource agencies and other stakeholders throughout relicensing. Our consultation included preparation and review of documents and filings to include the Initial Consultation Document and Draft and Final License Applications. Among the issues of concern were terrestrial, erosion and recreational resources. We performed a recreation use assessment, terrestrial habitat assessment, a rare plant survey and avian studies to evaluate collision and electrocution hazards associated with transmission lines. The project's extensive data was managed using an information management system and a relicensing website was maintained to support outreach and coordination activities.