Skip to Content

Related News

  • Related News

  • Rate Setting Process is Customer Driven and Community Focused

    EWEB’s Board of Commissioners is considering rate changes to help maintain reliable utility services and fund critical investments in Eugene’s water and electric infrastructure.

    Find Out More
  • Women in STEM: EWEB Engineer Laura Ohman's second degree brings a lifetime of benefits

    EWEB Engineer Laura Ohman shares how getting her second degree was one of the most difficult and rewarding things she's ever accomplished.

    Find Out More
  • Planning for a Future of Reliable, Affordable, Environmentally Responsible Energy

    The challenges revealed by Eugene Water & Electric Board’s integrated resource planning process mirror those facing the Northwest.

    Find Out More
  • EWEB’s heat driven call to conserve energy yields major savings

    EWEB is likely to implement similar, formalized “demand response” programs in the future.

    Find Out More
  • How does EWEB recover the costs of serving customers

    Here’s an overview of the three primary ways EWEB recovers the costs of serving customers and generates the funds needed to keep the power on and the water flowing.

    Find Out More
  • Show More
New Agreement Protects Fish and EWEB Customers

October 26, 2016

Crowd listening to speakers at the 1958 dedication of Carmen-Smith.

For more than 50 years, Carmen-Smith has reliably served Eugene with low-cost hydropower.  The plant remains valuable as a carbon-free generation resource that can ramp up and down to meet customers' peak energy needs.  In other words, Carmen operates when our community needs power the most and when buying that power on the wholesale market would be most expensive.

We reached a Settlement Agreement with 16 partners representing fisheries and natural resource agencies, environmental groups, tribes and recreation organizations in 2008.  This negotiated agreement formed the basis for new federal operating license.

This initial agreement provided major habitat enhancements, campground improvements, and fish-friendly plant operations including a fish passage system at Trail Bridge Dam.  These significant investments were agreed to at a time when wholesale power prices in the region were strong and projected to persist or even rise. 

Since 2010, while the license application was under federal review, regional wholesale power prices shrunk by 60 percent, making the 2008 settlement agreement uneconomic. EWEB and the original settlement parties were able to successfully request a pause in the federal license review and go back to the table to revise the agreement.  This revised agreement will be formally adopted by the EWEB Board on November 1 and submitted to the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission by the end of the month. 

The revised agreement still includes many investments in habitat restoration, aquatic enhance measures and recreational improvements that are now balanced with the economic realities of the regional energy markets.  Fish passage will be accomplished by alternative method, using a "trap and haul" facility and spillway fish passage.  EWEB will no longer generate power at the Trail Bridge powerhouse, giving up a bit of energy production in exchange for more cost effective less intrusive fish passage. 

Altogether these revisions are expected to reduce capital investments by about $80 million and long-term operating costs by $1 million annually.

With approval of the revised agreement, Carmen-Smith can further forge a balance of our community's desire for clean energy with our responsibility to protect and enhance native and endangered fish populations for future generations.