Extra hydro for Black Canyon Diversion Dam, US

26 October 2011

The US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) has selected the construction of a third hydropower generating unit producing an additional 10-12MW at the dam as the preferred alternative outlined in a Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).

The new unit was considered the preferred action alternative over a ‘no action’ option after careful review of public and agency comments, and taking into account potential security and environmental impacts described in the Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA). USBR has determined that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not required.

The $40M construction project, funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, should start in 2013 and be completed in about two years, with the contract expected to be issued in late 2012.

The dam is part of the FCRPS, which includes 31 federally-owned hydro dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. Built in 1924, the dam is a multipurpose facility that provides irrigation, hydropower, and recreation.

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