Phoenix Relicensing Project (FERC #1061)
Relicensing the Phoenix Hydroelectric Project
This page is an information resource for parties interested in the relicensing of PG&E's Phoenix Hydroelectric Project, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Project No. 1061.
- About the project
- The relicensing process
- Participating in the relicensing project
About the project
The Phoenix Project is located on the South Fork Stanislaus River (SFSF) in northern California’s Tuolumne County. It has a normal operating capacity of 2.0 megawatts (MW). The licensed nameplate capacity is 1.88 MW. The Project is located at the upper end of the Tuolumne Water System, which is owned by Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD). PG&E’s ownership of the Project and the original Tuolumne Water System date back to 1927. The Main Tuolumne Canal (MTC) was built in 1851 and 1852 to support mining and irrigation needs and the original Phoenix Powerhouse was constructed in 1898. Lyons Dam was constructed in 1929 and 1930. The original powerhouse was removed and a new powerhouse was constructed by PG&E in 1940.
In 1984, the non-FERC portions of the system were transferred to Tuolumne County, under the terms of a Purchase Agreement executed in 1983 between PG&E and Tuolumne County. The system and the Agreement were later transferred to TUD. PG&E retained all facilities associated with the hydroelectric project. Initial consultation with the stakeholders has recognized that this is a small project, operated for hydroelectric generation, minimum instream flow (MIF) releases in the SFSR, and delivery of consumptive water supply to Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) system. The Project provides the majority of TUD’s water supply, and except for the MIF requirements, all water diverted to the MTC goes to TUD. During most of the year, PG&E coordinates diversions with TUD to meet water demand and MIF releases. During spill conditions, PG&E operates the Project to maximize generation, but is still obligated to provide water to TUD and to meet MIF releases in the bypass reach.
The relicensing process: filing the Pre-Application and Notice of Intent
The Project was first licensed by the Federal Power Commission in 1930. It was most recently relicensed by FERC in 1992 and the current license expires on August 31, 2022. PG&E’s goal is to obtain a new license with minimal adverse impact to Project economics, while helping to foster PG&E's relationship with the community, resource agencies and other interested parties. PG&E desires to obtain a new license of maximum term for the Project at a minimum cost (both initially and ongoing) that allows the Project to minimize costs associated with the production of electrical power, to keep rates low, while also meeting environmental, recreational, irrigation and other non-power requirements and needs.
PG&E operates and manages the Project in accordance with a license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC Project No. 1061). Our existing FERC license expires August 31, 2022. PG&E is taking the initial steps required by the Federal Power Act and requesting FERC to approve the Traditional Licensing Process (TLP) to obtain a new license for the Project. At the current time, PG&E is not proposing to add capacity or make any major modifications to the Project or its operation under the new license.
The TLP process still 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 August 31, 2017, five years in advance of license expiration, and the TLP process requires approval by FERC. 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 August 22, 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 PG&E's Sonora Hydro Service Center at 14550 Tuolumne Road, Sonora, CA 95379. A CD is available at the Tuolumne County Library, 480 Greenley Road, Sonora CA 95370.
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 Phoenix Project filings and issuances.
In addition, PG&E will routinely update this page with documents and information as the relicensing process progresses.
Review documents and additional information
Interested parties, including federal, state and local agencies, non-governmental organizations and individual members of the public, may review:
- Documents and material developed by PG&E during the relicensing.
- Information regarding the Phoenix Project relicensing proceeding.
Visit Phoenix Project documents