Update: PG&E Abandons Eel River Dams, FERC seeks applicants to take over project

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 PG&E decides to abandon Eel River dams

About the eel river dams

The Potter Valley Project is a small hydropower project in the headwaters of the Eel River. It consists of two dams, a mile-long diversion tunnel, and a powerhouse with a 9.4 mw capacity. The project is located in the Eel River headwaters and diverts water out of the watershed into the Russian River near Ukiah.

Cape Horn Dam, the lower of the two, has a fish ladder, though concerns have been raised about its effectiveness. The larger Scott dam blocks fish migration to over 200 miles of coldwater habitat in the relatively high elevation Eel River headwaters. Read the study >>

RETU and TU staff have been actively involved in working toward a collaborative two-basin solution which seeks the co-equal goals of improving fish passage and habitat on the Eel River and minimizing adverse impacts to water supply reliability, fisheries, water quality, and recreation in the Russian River and Eel River basins. More about Congressman Huffman’s Ad Hoc Group >>

In early 2019, PG&E notified the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee that they would abandon the project, citing its economic viability. This has created significant uncertainty in the process and accelerates the timeline for diverse interests to work on a viable solution. We are at a crossroads for how we manage water supplies and the health of the Eel River and Russian River ecosystems.

RETU continues to work hard toward a two-basin-solution, one that meets the water needs of humans and fish, with modern, scientifically based approaches. Though there is significant uncertainly now, we do know this much, no dam lasts forever. We can work toward collaborative, innovative solutions now that help to restore our ecosystems and provide water security, or we can pass this problem on to our children. Read a once in a lifetime chance to restore the Eel River >>

Read the Comments

Click for a pdf file of the comments submitted to the Potter Valley Project (Eel River Dams Relicensing)

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