West Coast Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Licensed Hydroelectric Projects: Santa Clara River/Piru Creek
State Water Project, West Branch Aqueduct (P-2426) [Piru Creek/Pyramid Lake] Hydroelectric Project. Santa Clara River / Piru Creek, Upper Castaic Creek, California.
Project Profile & Applicant
FERC Project No. P-2426: The Project is located in Los Angeles County along the West Branch of the State Water Project Aqueduct. The Warne Power Development facilities include Quail Lake, Lower Quail Canal, Peace Valley Pipeline Intake Embankment, Peace Valley Pipeline, William A. Warne Powerhouse (Gorman Creek Arm of Pyramid Lake), and associated structures.
The Castaic Power Development facilities include Pyramid Lake (formed by Pyramid Dam on Piru Creek), Angeles Tunnel, Castaic Powerhouse, Elderberry Afterbay, Elderberry Dam, and Castaic Transmission Line. LADWP owns and operates the Castaic and Elderberry Facilities; DWR owns and operates all other facilities as described above. Piru Creek is divided into Upper, Middle, and lower Piru Creek by Pyramid Dam (P-2426, between Upper and Middle Piru Creek) and the non-project P-2153 Santa Felicia Dam (between Middle and Lower Piru Creek).
The P-2426 Project takes CA Aqueduct water down its W. Branch to Quail Lake and then downstream to Pyramid Lake (formed by Pyramid Dam on Piru Creek), via a small canal and underground pipe/penstock, to Warne powerhouse on Gorman Creek that discharges into Pyramid Lake. Water can be released from Pyramid Dam into Middle Piru Creek (flowing 18 river miles into Piru Lake of P-2153).
Currently, outflow into Middle Piru Creek nearly matches inflow into Pyramid Lake. 95% of the water from Pyramid Lake is conveyed via Angeles Tunnel down to 6 large penstocks and pump-back turbines in Castaic Powerhouse that discharge into the Castaic Creek arm of Elderberry Afterbay. Non-project water flows from Elderberry Afterbay into non-project lower Castaic Creek arm of non-project Castaic Lake.
Federally Threatened - Listed Species/Species of Concern
For the P-2426 Project on Middle Piru Creek, anadromy for the distinct population segment of Southern steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) exists downstream of non-project Santa Felicia Dam and Project (P-2153) on lower Piru Creek. Pyramid Dam forms Pyramid Lake on Middle Piru Creek (upstream of P-2153). O. mykiss upstream of P-2153 and upstream of P-2426 are considered “land-locked” S. steelhead (due to genetics). However, these isolated O. mykiss are not ESA-listed. NOAA Fisheries ordered fish passage over P-2153 and that would likely occur over the span of P-2426 new license.
FERC Relicensing Status
P-2426 is undergoing the Integrated Licensing Process (ILP). The NOI/PAD was filed in August 2016. The final study plan was filed and approved by FERC in 2017. Both the Initial and Updated Study Reports have now been filed as of June 2018 and 2019, respectively. The Applicants will file a Draft License Application (Draft LA) in September 2019 and file a Final LA by Jan 2020. Typically a FERC REA Notice would be anticipated by middle to late 2020.