Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.


PacifiCorp continues with Klamath licensing process

Yreka's Siskiyou Daily News - Community
February 12, 2007

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — PacifiCorp announced in a recent press release that it is prepared to meet and implement the federal agency prescriptions necessary to relicense its Klamath River Hydroelectric Project as part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensing process, while still pursuing an overall solution via settlement discussions.

On Jan. 30, the U.S. Department of Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service announced their modified fishway prescriptions necessary for a new operating license in FERC’s proceedings.

Those prescriptions call for fish ladders and screens at four dams as well as other improvements. This marks a significant milestone in the licensing process.

Bill Fehrman, president of PacifiCorp Energy, stated in the release that power company had “received direction from the federal agencies of what they believe is necessary for the successful reintroduction of salmon in the Upper Klamath Basin.”

He indicated that PacifiCorps will comply with the direction “if settlement discussions are not successful,”

PacifiCorp does not own enough generating capacity to supply its customers’ energy requirements, according to the release.

“For this reason, the company highly values its dependable hydro resources,” the release reported.

The Klamath Hydroelectric Project is the company’s third largest hydro project, and on average can supply the needs of 70,000 homes each year.

PacifiCorps plans to continue operating the Klamath Project, but indicated that it would not rule out “other reasonable outcomes” it felt might be achieved through the alternative settlement process it reported as being underway “in parallel with the FERC licensing proceeding.”

The press release indicates that PacifiCorp will need “a significant amount” of new generating capacity by 2014 to meet increased customer demand for electricity.

PacifiCorp indicated in the release that it is working to preserve its position as a “low-cost, high-quality provider of energy” while maintaining respect for the environment.

According to the release, PacifiCorp is among those companies throughout the U.S. aggressively installing wind energy on behalf of its customers, and hydro projects provide back-up power when the wind is not blowing.

“To firm-up variable wind generation, we need the available capacity that zero-emissions hydro electricity provides,” Fehrman stated.

He added that studies indicating that continued operations of the Klamath Project, with improvements, may be more costly for PacifiCorp customers compared with decommissioning “do not properly reflect the total value to our customers and are therefore incomplete, not accurate and misleading.”

“We respect the process and appreciate the effort the agencies have put into communicating with us. We also look forward to additional talks with all settlement parties and are hopeful we can move forward to a mutually agreeable outcome,” Fehrman stated in the release.

He added that PacifiCorps is still willing to consider “any sensible compromise” that may come from the settlement process as long as it protects our customers’ interests and respects the company’s property rights.

“However, if that process does not work out, we’ll focus our attention on implementing the agencies’ prescriptions to help bring migrating salmon into the Upper Klamath Basin,” Fehrman said.




              Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

             Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2006, All Rights Reserved