The Bureau of Reclamation joined the Klamath Irrigation District in a dedication ceremony for a hydroelectric facility located on an irrigation canal in the Klamath Project in Oregon, advancing the federal policy of encouraging non-federal development of clean, renewable power resources on federal water projects.
The C-Drop hydroelectric facility will use the force of water dropping 22 feet from the A Canal to the C Canal to generate up to 1.1 megawatts. Funds from power production will help offset electricity costs for the Klamath Irrigation District (KID) and help keep valuable farmland in production. The facility will not change the diversions or timing of irrigation flows and will not impact fish due to an existing fish screen on A Canal. The hydropower project is supported by a wide range of local stakeholders and interested parties, including farmers, businesses, and local and state governments.
“This is a perfect example of carrying out President Obama’s ‘all of the above’ strategy for developing clean, renewable American energy supplies,” said Commissioner Michael L. Connor. “At the same time, the project demonstrates how successful partnerships in hydropower development can maintain reliable water supplies and work in harmony with the environment.”
During his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama said the country needs an “all-out, all of the above strategy that develops every available source of American energy – a strategy that’s clean, cheaper and full of new jobs.”
C-Drop Hydro LLC was formed to develop the $2 million project in conjunction with KID. Reclamation issued a Lease of Power Privilege that authorized work to begin in November 2011. A Lease of Power Privilege is a congressionally authorized alternative to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hydropower licensing. It gives a non-federal entity authorization to use Reclamation-owned water or facilities for generation and sale of hydropower. Reclamation also has transferred operation and maintenance responsibilities to KID for the existing canals, which carry water south form the Link River Dam to the vicinity of Henley, Ore.
In keeping with the administration’s pursuit of an all-out renewable energy policy, the Department of the Interior and Reclamation have identified more than 370 existing Reclamation canals and conduits that have the potential of generating more than 1.5 million MWh of additional electricity annually.