Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Project No. #1992

Project Name: Fire Mountain Lodge Hydroelectric Project; FERC #1992

Eroding Dam Pipe Eroding Dam and Large Relief Pipe
Photo provided courtesy of Trigon Engineers, Inc.

Applicant: Mr. Ken Willis
County: Tehama
License Expiration Date: July 31, 2044
Water Quality Certification Status: Issued - September 26, 2013
Waterbody: Unnamed creek (known locally as Fern Springs Creek), a tributary to Gurnsey Creek
FERC Licensing Process: Traditional Licensing Process

Project Description:

The Project is located near Fire Mountain Lodge, a private resort that is located in the town of Mill Creek. The Project is south of Lassen Volcanic National Park, northwest of Plumas National Forest and west of Lake Almanor. The existing Project consists of: (1) a 265-foot long earth and concrete filled dam; (2) a 0.8-acre reservoir; (3) a 38-inch intake tower; (4) a 1,540-foot long penstock; (5) a powerhouse with an installed capacity of 60-kilowatts; (6) a 1,000-foot transmission line; and (7) appurtenant facilities. The power generated by the Project is used for commercial and residential purposes, solely for the owners of Fire Mountain Lodge, a self-provider of electricity.

Fire Mountain Lodge Reservoir Fire Mountain Lodge Reservoir impoundment area showing two underlying spring streams
Photo provided courtesy of T. Leong, U.S. Forest Service

Overtopping and dam failure events led to uncontrolled flows and earthen dam material being carried into Fern Springs Creek below the reservoir. Sediment from these events can be transported down to Gurnsey Creek, a tributary to Deer Creek, which supports anadromous fish populations. The Applicant proposes to continue to operate the Project as it has historically been operated, with modifications and improvements to the dam and stabilization of the adjacent Project road. The modifications and improvements to the existing dam and installation of a concrete-lined open channel spillway are needed to prevent future dam breaches and protect against sediment releases.

A single water quality certification was completed for the dam safety repairs and relicensing requirements of FERC on September 26, 2014.  FERC issued a new license for the Project on August 4, 2014.

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