Yuba-Bear and Drum-Spaulding Hydroelectric Project Relicensings

Yuba-Bear and Drum-Spaulding Hydroelectric Project Relicensings | California, US
Yuba-Bear and Drum-Spaulding Hydroelectric Project Relicensings | California, US
Habitat Refuge Assessment Snorkeling, South Yuba River
Habitat Refuge Assessment Snorkeling, South Yuba River
Hoary Bat Studies Below Lake Valley Diversion Dam
Hoary Bat Studies Below Lake Valley Diversion Dam
Bowman, North and South Dam, Bowman Lake
Bowman, North and South Dam, Bowman Lake
Humboldt's Lily, Bear River Canal
Humboldt's Lily, Bear River Canal
Water Temperature Recording, Spring Creek
Water Temperature Recording, Spring Creek
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and Nevada Irrigation District
Placer, Nevada and Sierra Counties, California, USA

The Yuba-Bear Hydroelectric Project and the Drum-Spaulding Hydroelectric Project have a combined generation capacity of 270 MW, and consist of over 40 interconnected reservoirs, 13 open-channel water conveyances and 16 powerhouses in the Yuba, Bear and American River watersheds. The FERC has speculated that together, these projects are the most physically and operationally complex hydroelectric projects in the United States.

HDR's staff was already familiar with the interconnected watersheds. Prior to the formal initiation of relicensing, HDR was selected by both Pacific Gas & Electric and the Nevada Irrigation District for development of unimpaired hydrology data and a hydroelectric operations model for the combined projects. Since both licenses were due to expire in 2013, HDR recommended a coordinated licensing effort. Conducting coordinated studies and relicensing meetings and sharing results of studies and stakeholder communication resulted in considerable time and cost savings for both owners.

We provided strategic and technical services for relicensing, which encompassed over five years of data collection and analysis and stakeholder consultation using the Integrated Licensing Process. The Final License Applications for each of the two projects are composed of five volumes of over 24,000 pages of documentation.

Throughout the relicensing process, web-based document management tools allow for collaborative review and input. This process is managed through the use of both a public and secure web portal.