Proposed Dams Will Likely Mean Less Power

By Published On: January 12, 2007

In another part of the State of the State speech, the governor promoted two new dams. They would require $3.1 billion in bonds. The dams would be primarily for water storage – not hydroelectricity – because of expected reduction in snowpack and resulting lower summer water supplies due to the warming climate. One proposed dam, known as the Sites Reservoir, would require pumping water to fill the reservoir. It would likely consume more power than it generates, said Ted Thomas, Department of Water Resources spokesperson. The other dam, near the Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River, would likely result in a loss of hydropower. While it would increase power generation at the Friant Power Project powerhouses because of higher reservoir levels, that increased generation would be more than offset by generation losses at PG&E’s Kerchoff Power Project caused by the creation of Temperance Flat reservoir, according to Thomas. – E. McC.

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