The Economic Benefits of Removing the Potter Valley Project Dams


Bay Area Council Economic Institute


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Decommissioning and removalReportsPublished   2/1/2023

In 2022, The Bay Area Council Economic Institute studied the economic benefits of removing both Eel River dams.

This report seeks to provide an understanding of the economic impacts associated with one likely result of the FERC decommissioning process: that PG&E will remove both Scott and Cape Horn Dams. This outcome is likely due to the reasonable initial capital outlay for PG&E and the minimal long-term operation and maintenance costs associated with dam removal relative to long-term operations and maintenance costs coupled with ongoing state and federal liabilities surrounding fish passage, environmental compliance, and dam safety without a continued revenue source.


Read the full report and the two-pager.


The report finds that:

  • These investments will yield an economic multiplier of 1.88x across California, and they will support a total of 9.0 jobs for every million dollars spent.
  • The dam removal projects would support 1,223 to1,637 full-time equivalent job-years in the State of California, 1,037 to 1,332 of which would be within the five-county Northern California area of study.
  • In addition to jobs, the dam removal and river restoration projects would provide an estimated $252 million to $345 million in total economic output for California, $203 million to $278 million of which would stay in the five-county region of study.


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