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PacifiCorp Press Release: Feb 07, 2007
PacifiCorp continues with Klamath licensing process, settlement discussions
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – PacifiCorp said today 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.

"We’ve had a week to review and understand the federal agencies’ filings and stand ready to implement the agencies’ prescriptions, and move on with FERC’s licensing process," said Bill Fehrman, president of PacifiCorp Energy. "We have received direction from the federal agencies of what they believe is necessary for the successful reintroduction of salmon in the Upper Klamath Basin and will comply with this direction if settlement discussions are not successful. In implementing the federal agencies’ prescriptions, we will still be able to preserve significant value from the project for our customers’ use and benefit in the future."

PacifiCorp does not own enough generating capacity to supply its customers’ energy requirements. For this reason, the company highly values its dependable hydro resources. 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.

The company plans to continue operating the Klamath Project, but would not rule out other reasonable outcomes that may be achieved through the alternative settlement process underway in parallel with the FERC licensing proceeding.

PacifiCorp will need a significant amount of new generating capacity by 2014 to meet increased customer demand for electricity. Existing generating resources like the Klamath Hydro Project have greater value over other renewable resources because they are dependable, can be scheduled when needed and are located close to the company’s customers.

"These plants do not produce carbon dioxide or other emissions, so they have positive environmental attributes," Fehrman said. "The fact that the Klamath project is an emissions-free, renewable resource will make it more valuable to our customers in the future and reduce our overall carbon footprint."

PacifiCorp is working to preserve its position as a low-cost, high-quality provider of energy while maintaining respect for the environment. 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 said. "Our rapid installation of wind projects is one of the reasons we are so focused on ensuring we can maintain our critical hydro assets like the Klamath Project.

"Studies that indicate 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," Fehrman said.

"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 said, adding, "We are 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."

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