Big Creek Nos. 1 and 2 Hydroelectric Project (Project)

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Project No. 2175

Portal Forebay on
Camp 61 Creek
Portal Forebay on
Camp 61 Creek
(Photo courtesy of State Water Board staff)
(click to enlarge)

Applicant: Southern California Edison (SCE)
County: Fresno
FERC License Expiration Date: February 28, 2009
Water Quality Certification Status: Final Issued - May 31, 2019
Water Body: Big Creek, Balsam Creek, and Ely Creek
FERC Licensing Processes: Alternative Licensing Process (ALP)

Project Description

The Big Creek Nos. 1 and 2 Hydroelectric Project (Project) is one of seven FERC-licensed projects that are part of a hydroelectric system owned and operated by Southern California Edison (SCE), and referred to collectively as the Big Creek Hydroelectric System. The Project is located on Big Creek in Fresno County, and occupies approximately 2,018 acres of national forest land administered by the United States Forest Service. Project facilities were constructed between 1913 and 1925 and consist of five concrete dams (Big Creek Dam 4 and Huntington Lake Dams 1, 2, 3, and 4), one major reservoir on Big Creek (Huntington Lake), three smaller diversion structures on streams tributary to Big Creek, several unlined conveyance tunnels and steel penstocks, 10 construction adits, and two powerhouses (Big Creek Powerhouses No. 1 and No. 2) with a total of eight generating units and an authorized generating capacity of 150.15 megawatts (MW).

Big Creek No. 1 Powerhouse uses water from Huntington Lake and discharges into the Dam 4 impoundment on Big Creek. Big Creek Powerhouse No. 2 receives water from the Dam 4 impoundment and discharges to the Dam 5 impoundment on Big Creek (Big Creek Nos. 2A, 8, and Eastwood Hydroelectric Project), FERC Project No. 67).

SCE proposes to continue operation of the Big Creek Nos.1 and 2 Hydroelectric Project without major modification, but has collaborated with involved stakeholders and resource and regulatory agency staff throughout the relicensing process to develop a range of environmental protection, mitigation, and enhancement measures for the Project. These measures are described in the Big Creek Alternative Licensing Process (ALP) Hydroelectric Projects Settlement Agreement (Settlement Agreement), which establishes certain obligations for the protection, mitigation, and enhancement of environmental resources affected by the Project once a new hydropower license is issued by FERC. SCE has requested that FERC and the State Water Board incorporate some provisions of the Settlement Agreement into the new Project license and water quality certification.

Related Documents

Post-Storm Dam 5 Emergency Sediment and Debris Removal Project

Water Quality Certification and Draft California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

Final Water Quality Certification for the Six Big Creek Hydroelectric Projects (FERC Project Nos. 67, 120, 2085, 2086, 2174, and 2175) – May 31, 2019

Final CEQA Supplement for the Six Big Creek Hydroelectric Projects (FERC Project Nos. 67, 120 2085, 2086, 2174, and 2175) – May 31, 2019

Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment on Draft Water Quality Certification for the Six Big Creek Hydroelectric Projects (FERC Project Nos. 67, 120, 2085, 2086, 2174, and 2175) - August 13, 2018

National Environmental Policy Act

Big Creek ALP Hydroelectric Projects Settlement Agreement