In 2005, the District decided to renew efforts to obtain a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license to restore the Enloe Dam Hydroelectric Project located 3.5 miles (6.4 km) northwest of Oroville, WA. The history of hydropower development at the Enloe site spans the last century. The previous 3.2MW power plant sited on the west bank of the Similkameen River, about 800 feet downstream of Enloe Dam, ceased operation in 1958.
The license will relocate the site for hydropower development to the opposite (east) bank. The site is closer to the dam and offers environmental and construction advantages. The 9.0MW facility would have a footprint that is about half the size of the old facility while providing nearly three times the generating capacity of the old decommissioned plant and about twice the average annual energy output.
The District began the licensing process when a request for a preliminary permit was approved under the Traditional Licensing Process. On August 22, 2008, the PUD submitted the Final License Application (FLA) for the Enloe Dam Hydroelectric Facility to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The FLA has 4 volumes. Volume 1, 2, and 3 are available to the public, with volume 4 containing Critical Energy Infrastructure Information which contains protected information and is not available for public viewing. To view the electronic version on this website, click here.
The license was approved on July 9, 2013. On July 31, 2015 a two year extension was granted by FERC for the start of construction.
401 Water Right Certification
On July 13, 2012 the Washington State Department of Ecology issued the 401 Water Right Certification, including eight mandatory plans. The certification was subject of an appeal to the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB).
On July 23, 2013, the PCHB issued an order affirming the Section 401 Water Quality Certification “subject to the additional condition that 10/30 cfs minimum instream flows over the Dam and Falls for the aesthetic values shall be further monitored and evaluated by Ecology during initial operation of the Project (within three years).” The decision of the PCHB further requires the Department of Ecology to monitor the 10/30 cubic feet per second (cfs) flows and to obtain additional data regarding alternative flows before determining whether the 10/30 cfs flow shall be confirmed or revised as a condition of continued operation of the Project. The 401 Certification, plans, and final PCHB Order can be found here.
On June 8, 2010 the District submitted four water right applications associated with our Enloe Dam Hydroelectric Project on the Similkameen River. Two of the applications proposed to change existing water rights, and two applications proposed new water uses.
Change Application No.’s CS4-CV1P243(A) and CS4-CV1P243(B), change Similkameen River Adjudicated Certificates 1 and 1-a and add a point of diversion and change the place of use under both water rights. Combined, these water rights authorize the diversion of 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), from the Similkameen River for hydropower purposes at Enloe Dam. The previous authorized point of diversion and place of use are on the west bank of the Similkameen River in Government Lot 7 of Section 13, Township 40 N, Range 26 E.W.M.
The additional point of diversion is located on the east bank of the Similkameen River within Government Lots 5 and 6 of Section 13, Township 40 N, Range 26 E.W.M. The proposed place of use includes Government Lots 5, 6 and 7 of Section 13, Township 40 N, Range 26 E.W.M. These change applications were approved on August 6, 2013.
New Application No. S4-35342 was filed by Okanogan PUD requesting to divert an additional 600 cfs for hydropower generation associated with Enloe Dam. The proposed points of diversion and place of use are located on the Similkameen River in Government Lots 5 and 6 (east bank) and 7 (west bank) of Section 13, Township 40N, Range 26 E.W.M. The report of examination was approved on August 6, 2013. On September 6, 2013 an appeal was filed with the Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) and on June 24, 2014 the PCHB upheld the permit with the same conditions from the 401 Certification order regarding the 10/30 flows. The PCHB order was appealed and on June 24, 2014 the Thurston County Superior Court affirmed the order. The Thurston County Superior Court order was also appealed and on October 17, 2016 the Washington State Court of Appeals affirmed that order as well. On November 16, 2016 the appellants petitioned the Washington State Supreme Court to hear an appeal and on March 7, 2017 the Supreme Court denied that petition.
New Application No. G4-35343 was filed by Okanogan PUD requesting to withdraw 2 cfs for fish propagation and return the water back to the Similkameen River. The proposed place of use and the proposed well will be located in the NW 1/4 SE 1/4 of Section 33, Township 40 N, Range 27 E.W.M., Okanogan County. The permit was issued on April 28, 2014.
Water Rights may be viewed here.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
In addition to the above compliance documents there are additional requirements in the BLM Dam and Reservoir Plan of Development, dated May 2010. A second document is the BLM Right of Way Grant which was approved on November 1, 2013. Both documents can be found by clicking here.