Cresta P-1962

General information

Waterway  North Fork Feather River
Current status   Active license 
Type of facility Conventional Hydro
Mode of hydropower generation Peaking
Type of permit FERC License

FERC information

FERC docket # P-1962
FERC project name Rock Creek-Cresta
Other projects with this FERC number
Permit issued 10/19/01
Permit expiration 9/26/34

Ownership and operation

Owner Pacific Gas & Electric Co
Owner type Investor-Owned Utility
Year first online (conventional hydro) 1949
Transmission or distribution system owner Pacific Gas & Electric Co

Power and generating capacity

Number of units 2
Total capacity from hydraulic turbine-generator units within each plant 73.8 MW
Average annual net hydropower generation 265,357.4 MWH

Kayakers at the base of Cresta Dam

In 1997 members of the Hydropower Reform Coalition began working on to restore the Feather River, which was heavily impacted from hydropower development. Our goal has been ambitious but simple. Restore the Feather River, ecologically, and as a premiere recreational resource. During the first part of the twentieth century people came from all over the world to the Feather River to participate in an array of recreational activities; angling, paddling, swimming. The hydro projects that were built in the 1950’s and 60’s gathered up most of the river’s water and put it in pipes to produce power. While this was a boon for power production, it was devastating for the ecosystem and recreation industry on the Feather River.

The first piece of the puzzle was negotiating the landmark Rock Creek – Cresta Settlement Agreement (FERC P-1962). This agreement more than doubled the base flows, set standards for water temperature, required habitat improvements for fish spawning, as well as requiring recreational releases starting at one weekend per month during the summer. Since this agreement was initiated, in the form of a new FERC license, we have seen a dramatic improvement in the fishery and an increase in shore-based recreation. In addition, thousands of paddlers have come to the North Fork Feather to experience what many feel is the best summer whitewater opportunity in California.


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