Clean Currents 2022

On-Site Tours

Unique Opportunities to Learn, Network with other Attendees, and See Hydropower in Action in California!

Monday, October 17 – two choices:

Tuesday morning, October 18:

Shuttles to each tour will be provided and will depart from the J Street Entrance of the Safe union Credit Convention Center. The exact location and appropriate dress code will be emailed to registered tour attendees.

Details on each offering are provided below. Add these tours during the event registration process. Get started today.

Cost Per tour: $50

New Bullards Bar Dam and New Colgate Powerhouse

Host: Yuba Water Agency

Monday, October 17
8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Maximum Capacity: 40 people
Must register by September 30

The tour site is approximately 1.5 hours from Sacramento (travel time incorporated in tour times) and will include lunch. 

New Bullards Bar Dam is the 5th tallest dam in the United States, storing nearly 1 million acre-feet of water and providing a dedicated flood storage during the winter of 170,000 acre-feet.

The reservoir is surrounded by the Plumas and Tahoe national forests and is home to the world record for the largest spotted bass at 11.4 pounds. 

New Colgate Powerhouse, Yuba Water Agency’s largest, houses two of the largest single-cast Pelton Wheel turbines ever built.

Water carried by tunnel nearly 5 miles from New Bullards Bar Reservoir is routed down a 15-foot-diameter penstock to drive Colgate’s two powerful turbines, producing a total of up to 350 MW of electricity. 

Lake Oroville Complex – SOLD OUT

Host: California Department of Water Resources (DWR)

Monday, October 17
8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Maximum Capacity: 60 people

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to experience one of California’s most important assets – the California State Water Project (SWP). The American Society of Civil Engineers recognized the SWP as one of the outstanding engineering achievements of the 20th century.

The Oroville Complex is the heart of the California State Water Project (SWP) and has a generating capacity of 925 MW. The SWP moves water from Lake Oroville and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to more than 27 million Californians, 750,000 acres of farmland, and businesses throughout the state. 

The visit will highlight the following areas of the Oroville Complex:

1.    Lake Oroville Visitor Center – participants will view exhibits on Lake Oroville hydropower and reservoir operations; watch a video on the construction of Oroville Dam; and climb the 47-foot-high observation tower for a birds-eye view of Oroville Dam, Lake Oroville, the Sierra Nevada range and the Sutter Buttes, known as the smallest mountain range in the world.

2. Oroville Dam – participants will view the tallest dam in the United States at 770 feet high. The dam is nearly 7,000 feet long and was constructed from 80 million cubic yards of material.

3.  Oroville Dam Spillways – participants will view the spillways that were reconstructed in 2017-2018. The main spillway is over 3,000 feet long and 180 feet wide.

4.  Edward Hyatt Powerplant – participants will view the three generating units and three pumping-generating units that can generate up to the 714 MW of clean hydropower.

5. Feather River Fish Hatchery, Fish Ladder, and Diversion Dam – participants will view the diversion dam, hatchery and raceways where salmon and steelhead are raised until they grow large enough to be returned to the water. More than 8 million spring-run and fall-run Chinook salmon are produced by the hatchery annually, along with nearly 450,000 steelhead. 

White Rock Powerhouse

Host: Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)

Tuesday, October 18
8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Maximum Capacity: 75 people
Must register by October 10

The White Rock Powerhouse provides 224 MW of hydropower and is a cornerstone of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s 2030 Zero Carbon Plan hydro portfolio.

White Rock is the largest of nine powerhouses in SMUD’s Upper American Project (UARP).  At about 1,000 feet in elevation, the White Rock Powerhouse discharges into the South Fork American River just upstream of Chili Bar Reservoir, which supports the most heavily used white water boating run on the West Coast.  

The powerhouse has all new 230-kV SF6 breakers, control system, and CO2 system disconnect.  

It also served as SMUD’s hydro headquarters during the month-long Caldor Fire evacuation in 2021.

The White Rock Powerhouse tour will include all areas of the powerhouse – from the switchyard to the turbine floor.

The tour location is approximately 50 minutes from downtown Sacramento.