Kerckhoff Relicensing Project (FERC #96)
Relicensing the Kerckhoff Hydroelectric Project
This page is an information resource for parties interested in the relicensing of PG&E's Kerckhoff Hydroelectric Project, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Project No. 96.
- About the project
- The relicensing process
- Participating in the relicensing project
About the project
The Project (FERC Project No. 96) is located in the foothills of the western slope of the Sierra Nevada on the San Joaquin River in a sparsely populated area of Fresno and Madera counties, California. The Project is located about 25 miles northeast of the city of Fresno, at elevations between 500 and 1,000 feet above mean sea level. The closest communities to the Project are the towns of Auberry and Prather to the south and North Fork to the north.
The Project has a total generating capacity of 180,200 kW and consists of Kerckhoff Reservoir formed by Kerckhoff Dam, two powerhouses, two tunnels that convey water from the reservoir to the powerhouses, and appurtenant facilities and access roads. The Project also includes one developed recreation facility located on the northeast end of Kerckhoff Reservoir, referred to as Smalley Cove Recreation Area.
The Project facilities are located on public and private lands primarily owned by the U.S Forest Service (Sierra National Forest), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and PG&E. The Project is located within the upper San Joaquin River basin, which is highly developed for hydroelectric generation, flood control, and irrigation storage. PG&E’s Crane Valley Hydroelectric Project (FERC Project No. 1354) and Southern California Edison’s (SCE’s) Big Creek Hydroelectric System are located upstream of the Kerckhoff Hydroelectric Project. Accordingly, the Project is operated to make maximum use of the water supply available from the upstream hydroelectric projects. Water utilized by the Kerckhoff Hydroelectric Project is released into the San Joaquin River and flows into Millerton Lake, located immediately downstream of the Kerckhoff 2 Powerhouse. Millerton Lake is part of the Central Valley Project and is owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
The relicensing process: filing the Pre-Application and Notice of Intent
The Project consists of two developments, referred to as Kerckhoff No. 1 and Kerckhoff No. 2, with a current combined total generating capacity of 180,200 kilowatts (kW). The Kerckhoff No. 1 Development was constructed by San Joaquin Light & Power Corporation in 1920. The Project was first licensed by the Federal Power Commission (predecessor to the current FERC) in 1922, for a term of 50 years. The license was transferred to PG&E in 1930. The Project was relicensed by FERC on November 8, 1979, and the Kerckhoff No. 2 Development was added to the system in 1983. The current FERC license expires on November 30, 2022.
PG&E operates and manages the Project in accordance with a license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC Project No. 96). The existing FERC license expires November 30, 2022. PG&E is taking the initial steps required by the Federal Power Act and plans to use FERC’s default licensing process, the Integrated Licensing Process (ILP), to obtain a new license for the Project. PG&E is not proposing to add capacity or make any major modifications to the Project or its operation under the new license.
The ILP process requires that PG&E prepare a Pre-Application Document (PAD) to be filed at FERC with its Notice of Intent (NOI). The filing deadline is November 30, 2017, five years in advance of license expiration. The PAD provides detailed information at the beginning of the relicensing process to help focus participants on key issues of the project. It provides an overview of the relicensing process and schedule, and includes a detailed description of Project facilities and operations. The PAD also describes existing environmental resources and presents information on preliminary issues and studies PG&E may propose.
On November 16, 2017 PG&E filed the PAD and NOI for the Project with FERC. PG&E's transmittal letter to FERC, the NOI, and PAD are available at the FERC eLibrary.
Copies of the documents are also available for review at PG&E’s main office at 245 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, and at the Auberry Branch Library, 33049 Auberry Road, Auberry, CA and the Madera County Public Library North Fork Branch located at 32908 Rd 222, North Fork.
Participate in the relicensing process
Individuals or entities interested in participating in the relicensing process are encouraged to register with FERC. Once registered, FERC will notify you by email about new Kerckhoff Project filings and issuances.
In addition, PG&E will routinely update this page as the relicensing process progresses.