As part of EWEB's relicensing requirements for the Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project, we are reducing the risk of birds colliding with electricity.Find Out More
As a public utility, it is important EWEB check in with customers to see how we are performing. We invite you to share your feedback and opinions.Find Out More
On April 12, EWEB dispatched a two-person crew with a bucket truck to assist with repairs and restoring electric service for Columbia River Public Utility District, which serves customers in Columbia County, north of Portland.Find Out More
EWEB is moving forward with analyzing four options to remediate the Leaburg Canal, ranging from full decommissioning to complete restoration, with two options in between.Find Out More
As a public utility, owned by the people of Eugene, it’s important for us to be open and transparent with our customer-owners. The following State of the Utility Address, delivered by General Manager Frank Lawson at the March 1 EWEB Board meeting, highlights key events, accomplishments and challenges of 2021.Find Out More
Here in Eugene, where we are fortunate to have one of the cleanest power portfolios in the nation, electrification presents opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support climate recovery goals.Find Out More
EWEB is offering new programs to help Eugene electrify its transporation sector - tackling our largest source of carbon emissionsFind Out More
Just as high winds with gusts of more than 30 mph arrived in the Oregon Cascades early Thursday, EWEB has completed aerial trimming around its Carmen-Smith transmission line using a helicopter with saw attachments to trim branches and treetops.Find Out More
As part of our routine monitoring efforts, EWEB conducted a bathymetric survey of Trail Bridge Reservoir in May 2021 and found unusual depressions. EWEB conducted follow-up inspections with a remotely operated underwater vehicle along with dye testing by divers in early June 2021. Based on the dye tests, the two larger depressions are actively taking water and are considered sinkholes. Subsequent dye testing and geophysical investigations in July and August indicated that there is no concentrated seepage flow through or under Trail Bridge Dam.Find Out More
Unlike for-profit utilities who serve their investors, EWEB and other public power providers are community-owned and do not operate to earn a profit or benefit stockholders. Our prices are based on the costs to serve our community with safe, reliable water and electricity.Find Out More
At EWEB, we factor climate change into almost everything we do. As Eugene’s publicly-owned utility, we strive to fulfill our roles reducing our community’s carbon footprint, optimizing our use of clean energy, and helping our watershed adapt to a warmer climate.Find Out More
We are ready to deal with the stress that extreme heat may place on our electric system. We encourage customers to be prepared, stay cool and hydrated and practice safety by developing an emergency plan and checking in on neighbors.Find Out More
To help prevent tree-related electrical outages and mitigate wildfire risk, we proactively prune trees and remove brush year-round to help keep our equipment clear. Each year, crews trim more than 300 overhead line miles of vegetation to minimize falling trees and branches to avoid outages and increase the reliability of the electric system.Find Out More
EWEB is now accepting applications for the 2021 Greenpower Grants, worth up to $50,000 each to fund high-impact projects that increase the use of renewable energy sources, the adoption of emerging technologies, clean energy education and/or reduce or offset our community’s carbon footprint.Find Out More
As Texas struggles to restore electricity to millions, locals may be wondering if a similar crisis could happen here, and what utility operators and individuals can do to prepare for unprecedented weather events.Find Out More
The Eugene Water & Electric Board has received a new 40-year operating license for our largest utility-owned generation facility - the Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project on the upper McKenzie River.
The new license, issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, will allow us to operate the carbon-free, renewable hydroelectric facility through at least May 2059. The project generates enough electricity to power nearly 16,000 homes.
"We are thrilled to receive this new license and our team is looking forward to continuing to modernize the facilities at the project," said Patty Boyle, principal project manager for EWEB.
In anticipation of the new federal operating license, we started a major rebuild of the Carmen Powerhouse in 2017, replacing and refurbishing much of the equipment first installed in 1963 when the project opened. Last year, we replaced two giant turbine shut-off valves that measure 9 feet in diameter and weigh more than 26 tons. In April, we started a complete rebuild of the Carmen Substation, including the replacement of substation transformers weighing more than 66 tons each. In 2020 and 2021, we will replace the turbine runners (the propeller-like structures that spin with water pressure) and generators at the powerhouse.
"The issuance of this license initiates a substantial investment in the project along with many environmental and recreational improvements," Boyle said. "We'll be investing in fish passage facilities, improving spawning habitat and rebuilding three campgrounds."
Over the next several years, we will spend more than $116 million on upgrading the powerhouse and substation, rebuilding the three campgrounds (Ice Cap, Trail Bridge and Lakes End) in addition to other recreational, environmental and habitat improvements.
Carmen-Smith is a carbon-free generation resource known as a "peaking plant" that allows us to ramp up and down to meet customers' peak energy needs. It is one of three EWEB-owned generating facilities on the McKenzie River that supplies reliable electricity for our customer-owners.
Carmen-Smith is a network of three dams and reservoirs and two power-generating units located 71 miles east of Eugene. 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 an 11,300-foot-long tunnel leading to Smith Reservoir. From Smith Reservoir, water is routed through a second, 7,325-foot-long 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.
4200 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97402
Phone hours: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.