U.S. awards contract for Klamath hydropower project dam removal study

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $4.2 million contract to CDM Federal Programs Corporation for an economic study of an agreement to remove four dams in the 161.338-MW Klamath hydroelectric project in Oregon and California.

Project licensee PacifiCorp and other parties unveiled a settlement agreement in September 2009 on resolution of Klamath River resource issues and removal of the utility's main Klamath River hydropower plants and dams, 90.338-MW J.C. Boyle, 20-MW Copco 1, 27-MW Copco 2, and 18-MW Iron Gate.

Parties signed two framework agreements in February for removing the dams by 2020 if Congress and Interior Department scientists approve. Reclamation awarded a contract to Research Triangle Institute to evaluate the economic potential of fisheries restoration.

The settlement calls for PacifiCorp customers to pay $200 million of the dam removal costs. The state of California is to provide up to another $250 million, with total project costs not to exceed $450 million.

The environmental review is to include development of a federal environmental impact statement, a state environmental impact report, a biological assessment, and a secretarial determination overview report. Additional work is to include providing technical assistance and support for the secretarial determination on removing the four mainstem Klamath dams and transfer of the non-powered Keno Dam to the Interior Department.

The full hydroelectric project (No. 2082) also includes the 3.2-MW East Side and 600-kW West Side developments, which PacifiCorp proposed to decommission voluntarily, and the 2.2-MW Fall Creek development, on a Klamath River tributary.

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