The project is located on the McKenzie River in Lane and Linn counties, near McKenzie Bridge, Oregon.
The project uses flow from the McKenzie and Smith rivers. The Carmen-Smith Project is operated as a peaking and load-following facility, using water stored in the three project reservoirs (Carmen diversion, Smith, and Trail Bridge reservoirs) and generating at two powerhouses (Carmen and Trail Bridge). The total installed capacity of the project is 92 MW.
The Carmen development includes a 25-foot-high, 2,100-foot-long Carmen diversion dam; the 30-acre Carmen diversion reservoir; a concrete diversion tunnel; the 235-foot-high, 1,100-foot-long Smith diversion dam; the 178-acre Smith diversion reservoir; the Carmen powerhouse containing two Francis turbines; and a 19-mile, 115-kilovolt transmission line.
The Trail Bridge development includes the 100-foot-high, 700-foot-long Trail Bridge dam; the 71-acre Trail Bridge reservoir; and the Trail Bridge powerhouse containing one Kaplan turbine.
The project occupies approximately 574 acres of the Willamette National Forest managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.