Bishop Creek Hydroelectric Project
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Project No. 1394
Powerhouse No. 3
(Image courtesy of Southern California Edison Company)
Applicant: Southern California Edison Company
License Expiration Date: June 30, 2024
Water Quality Certification Status: Awaiting Application
Waterbody: Bishop Creek
FERC Licensing Process: ILP
Southern California Edison Company (SCE) owns and operates the Bishop Creek Hydroelectric Project (Project), located on Bishop Creek, Middle Fork Creek, South Fork Creek, Birch Creek, McGee Creek, and Green Creek near the community of Bishop in the Owens Valley along the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Inyo County, California. The Project is also known as Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Project Number 1394 (FERC Project No. 1394). Project facilities are located in the Inyo National Forest and the John Muir Wilderness (managed by the United States Forest Service (Forest Service)), Bureau Land Management lands, and privately managed lands.
The Project consists of: (1) eight existing dams; (2) five powerhouses with an installed capacity of 26.27 megawatts; (3) four reservoirs including South Lake, Lake Sabrina, Longley Lake, and Intake No. 2 Reservoir; (4) three water diversions including Birch Creek Diversion, McGee Creek Diversion, and Green Creek Diversion; (5) the Birch-McGee diversion pipe which conveys water from Birch and McGee creeks to Flowline No. 2; and (6) appurtenant facilities. The Project has three primary storage reservoirs: South Lake (12,883 acre-feet), Lake Sabrina (8,376 acre-feet), and Longley Lake (178 acre-feet). The fourth reservoir, Intake No. 2, provides negligible storage. South Lake, Lake Sabrina, and Intake No. 2 Reservoir provide water-based recreation with nearby facilities owned by the United States Forest Service. The Green Creek diversion has been out of service since October 2008 and SCE plans to return it to service as part of the Project relicensing.
SCE currently operates the Project under a 30-year license issued by FERC on July 19, 1994, that expires on June 30, 2024. SCE is proposing to relicense the Project for a term of 40 years. At this time, SCE does not propose any changes to Project operations or any new construction or modification of any Project structures other than returning the Green Creek diversion to service as part of the Project relicensing.
Current FERC License – July 27, 1994
Final License Application – June 29, 2022
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
Informal Consultation Notice – December 09, 2022