Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Project No. 382

Borel Hydroelectric Project

Camp Far West Reservoir 1923 Borel Powerhouse

Applicant: Southern California Edison
County: Kern
License Expiration Date: April 30, 2046
Water Quality Certification Status: Awaiting Application
Waterbody: Kern River
FERC Licensing Process: License Surrender

Project Description:
The Camp Far West Hydroelectric Project (Project) FERC (Project No. 2997) is located in Nevada, Yuba and The Borel Hydroelectric Project, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Project No. 382 (Project) is owned by Southern California Edison (SCE) and is located on the Kern River in Kern County, California.  Main Project facilities include: (1) a four-foot-high and 158-foot-long concrete diversion dam; (2) an intake structure with three radial gates; (3) canal inlet structures consisting of a canal intake, trash racks, and a sluice gate; (4) Borel Canal, consisting of 1,985 feet of tunnel, 1,651 feet of steel-lined flume, 51,825 feet of concrete-lined canal, and 3, 683 feet of siphon; (5) an auxiliary intake structure to the Borel Canal located at the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Auxiliary Dam located on Lake Isabella; (6) a small off-channel, concrete lined forebay; (7) four steel penstocks; (8) a powerhouse with a total installed capacity of 12 megawatts; and (9) other appurtenant facilities.

License Surrender:
As originally licensed by the Federal Power Commission in 1925, the Project used a diversion dam and intake structure on the north fork of the Kern River to divert water into the Borel Canal for power generation at the Borel Powerhouse.  The Flood Control Act of 1944 authorized the USACE to construct and operate the Isabella Main Dam, Auxiliary Dam, and reservoir on the Kern River. The USACE Auxiliary dam was constructed over a portion of the Borel Canal, and a concrete conduit was built through the dam to allow continued flow through the Borel Canal.  The Project facilities beneath and to the north of the Auxiliary Dam were heavily modified during the dam’s construction.  SCE’s current license for the Borel Project was issued on May 17, 2006, however in 2017 the USACE implemented a safety modification project to its Auxiliary dam, condemning 10.7 acres of private and public land associated with the Project and sealing the conduit through the Auxiliary Dam by filling it with concrete and abandoning the conduit in place. This action rendered the Project nonfunctional, as it prevented water from flowing into the Borel Canal, and as a result SCE has chosen to file an application to surrender the Project license.

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