Project summary

PG&E owns and operates the Potter Valley Project, a 9.2 megawatt hydropower project located on the Eel River and the East Branch Russian River in Mendocino and Lake Counties, approximately 15 miles northeast of the City of Ukiah. The Project includes the Potter Valley Powerhouse, a series of tunnels, conduits and penstocks; Scott Dam and the storage reservoir it impounds, Lake Pillsbury; and Cape Horn Dam and the reservoir it impounds, Van Arsdale Reservoir.

PG&E operates and manages the Project in accordance with a license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), FERC Project No. 77. PG&E's existing FERC license expires April 14, 2022. PG&E is taking the initial steps required by the Federal Power Act and FERC's Integrated Licensing Process (ILP) 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.

Pre-Application Document and Notice of Intent

The ILP 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 April 14, 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 April 6, 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.

Stakeholder meetings

PG&E conducted two stakeholder meetings on March 9, 2017 to discuss the initial required steps being taken to obtain a new FERC license for the Project. Meeting presentations can be downloaded here:

FERC Scoping

On June 1, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a notice and Scoping Document 1 (SD1) for the relicensing of the Potter Valley Project. Visit the FERC eLibrary to view a copy of the SD1.

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, Commission staff intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which will be used by the Commission to determine whether, and under what conditions, to issue a new license for the project. To support and assist the environmental review, the public scoping process has been initiated to ensure all pertinent issues are identified and analyzed.

FERC Staff held two scoping meetings for the Potter Valley Project to receive input on the scope of its EIS. Two meetings were held on June 28, 2017 at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center, one at 9 a.m. and one at 6:00 p.m. All interested agencies, Native American tribes, non-governmental organizations and individuals were invited to attend one or both meetings.

On Sept. 18, 2017, the FERC issued a Scoping Document 2 (SD2) for the elicensing of the Potter Valley Project. Visit the FERC eLibrary to view a copy of the SD2 for the relicensing of the Potter Valley Project.

Download the meeting presentations:

Commission Staff conducted an Environmental Site Review (site visit) of the project on June 27, 2017.

On September 14, 2017, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) filed a Proposed Study Plan (PSP) for the Potter Valley Project (FERC Project No. 77) with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Visit the FERC eLibrary to view a copy of PG&E’s PSP filing.

Study plan development

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 Potter Valley Project filings and issuances.

In addition, PG&E will routinely update this page with documents and information as the relicensing process progresses.

This page will also be updated to notify stakeholders about upcoming activities.