In May 2019, we 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.
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. In 2018, we replaced two giant turbine shut-off valves that measure 9 feet in diameter and weigh more than 26 tons. In 2019, we finished a complete rebuild of the Carmen Substation, including the replacement of substation transformers weighing more than 66 tons each. In 2021 and 2022, we will replace the turbine runners (the propeller-like structures that spin with water pressure) and generators at the powerhouse.
Over the next several years, we will rebuild two campgrounds (Trail Bridge and Lakes End) in addition to other recreational, environmental and habitat improvements. The rebuild of Ice Cap Campground was completed in 2019.
Read the Carmen-Smith 2019 FERC License.
As part of the license, EWEB negotiated an agreement with 16 partners representing fisheries and natural resource agencies, environmental groups, Native American tribes and recreation organizations. Read the full Carmen-Smith 2016 Settlement Agreement, including:
- Aquatics Management Plan (including reservoir surface elevations, minimum water releases, and rates of change)