Carmen Smith Hydroelectric Project
Upper McKenzie River
McKenzie Bridge, OR
The Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project, located 71 miles east of Eugene on the upper
McKenzie River, is EWEB's largest utility-owned power source.
The project is operated as a peaking and load-following facility, using the water
stored in the three project reservoirs. Power generation is increased during the
times of the day when customers' use of electricity is the greatest—in the winter that is typically early
morning and early evening hours. In addition to peaking, the project provides on-demand
power to support EWEB's alternative energy resources including wind power.
The Carmen Diversion Reservoir, filled by the McKenzie River flowing from its headwaters
at Clear Lake, has minimal storage capacity and is used to divert water into a tunnel
leading to Smith Reservoir. From Smith Reservoir, water is routed through a second
tunnel to the Carmen Power Plant, which discharges into Trail Bridge Reservoir,
and then flows through the Trail Bridge Power Plant and back into the McKenzie River
below Trail Bridge Dam. The Carmen Power Plant operates in a peaking mode, while
the Trail Bridge Development operates as a re-regulating facility. The overall operational
mode of the project is such that, on an average daily basis, inflow to the project
nearly matches outflow at the Trail Bridge Power Plant tailrace.
The Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project consists of following facilities:
- Carmen Diversion Dam, reservoir, and diversion tunnel
- Smith River Dam, reservoir and power tunnel
- Carmen Power Plant and substation
- Trail Bridge Dam, reservoir, power plant, campground and spawning channel
- A transmission line (19 miles, 115 kilovolts) from Carmen Substation to the Bonneville
Power Administration's Cougar switchyard (near the Army Corps of Engineer's Cougar
EWEB is seeking a new, 50-year operating license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
A new license is expected to be issued in late 2013.