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In 1921 PacifiCorp’s predecessor, the California Oregon Power Company blasted channels through a rock formation at the outlet of Upper Klamath Lake and constructed Link River Dam to control lake levels, supply water to the Klamath Irrigation Project, and produce hydropower.
Link River Dam and the associated East Side (3.2 MW) and West Side (0.6 MW) powerhouses are the most upstream developments of the Klamath Hydroelectric Project, located near RM 254 within the city limits of Klamath Falls, Oregon. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) owns the Link River dam and PacifiCorp operates it under USBR’s directive. Therefore the dam is not considered part of the Klamath Hydroelectric Project. PacifiCorp’s predecessor, the California Oregon Power Company, struck a deal with the Bureau: the power company could operate the dam to generate hydroelectric power, and Klamath Reclamation Project irrigators would get a reduced power rate of less than 1 cent per kilowatt-hour. That deal expired in 2006.
PacifiCorp plans to remove the East Side and West Side hydropower developments from service but Link Dam would remain in place as a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) facility to control lake levels and provide water for irrigation.
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