Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Project No. 803

Project Name: DeSabla-Centerville Hydroelectric Project (Project); FERC 803

Hendricks Diversion Dam Hendricks Diversion Dam
on West Branch of Feather River

(Image provided by State Water Board staff.)

Applicant: Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E)
County: Butte
License Expiration Date: October 11, 2009
Water Quality Certification Status: Amended – August 2, 2016
Waterbody: Butte Creek and West Branch Feather River
FERC Licensing Process: Integrated Licensing Process

Project Description:

The Project is located on Butte Creek and the West Branch Feather River. The Project consists of three developments (Toadtown, DeSabla, and Centerville), which collectively include three reservoirs, three powerhouses, 14 diversion and feeder dams, five canals, and associated equipment and transmission facilities.

The Toadtown development diverts water from the West Branch Feather River. The DeSabla development diverts water from upper Butte Creek and the outflow of the Toadtown development. The Centerville development diverts the flow of Butte Creek downstream of the DeSabla development that ultimately flows back into Butte Creek at or near the Centerville Powerhouse. The Project has an installed capacity of 25.8 megawatts.

The Project is operated primarily as run-of-the-river and operates on a continuous basis. During winter and spring, base flows in the West Branch Feather River and Butte Creek typically provide adequate flow for full operation of Project powerhouses. However, during summer months, available base flow water is augmented by water releases from storage at Round Valley and Philbrook Reservoirs. During fall months Project powerhouses are operated at reduced capacities due to low stream flows.

Seasonal operation of the Project manages basin runoff to best achieve Project objectives including regulatory requirements, recreation, flood control, irrigation, municipal water supply, and power generation. In 1999, the Central Valley Spring-run Chinook salmon (SR Chinook) were designated as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). SR Chinook in the Sacramento River Basin are also listed as threatened under the California ESA. Since the federal ESA listing of SR Chinook, PG&E has operated the Project under an annual Project Operations and Maintenance Plan (Plan) developed each spring in consultation with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (formerly known as California Department of Fish and Game), National Marine Fisheries Service, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The Plan outlines the operation and maintenance procedures and practices that PG&E follows to enhance and protect SR Chinook. The Plan also provides the basis for the reservoir temperature release criteria.

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