The Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s Iowa Hill project received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
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SMUD this year worked on a “comprehensive fuels reduction effort” on 80 acres near the top of Iowa Hill. The aim is to reduce brush and ladder fuels “while preserving a dispersed canopy of trees.” SMUD hired local fuel reduction specialists based in Camino. The work is being monitored by Cal Fire in Camino.
The pumped storage reservoir includes a 109-storage reservoir, a powerhouse and pumping facility and connecting tunnels. It will generate 400 megawatts of electricity generally at peak demand, after pumping the water back up at night when there is less electricity demand.
Also, to comply with whitewater boating flows under the new license, SMUD will release minimum flows of between 36 cubic feet per second to 415 cfs, Whitewater boating flows will get from 850 cfs to 1,500 cfs “under certain conditions.”
“The release volumes exceed the capacity of the facilities at the base of the dam. SMUD’s solution is to build a New Slab Creek Powerhouse and boating release valve downstream of Slab Creek Dam. The powerhouse downstream of the dam will generate 2.7 megawatts.
SMUD is moving closer to completing all the relicensing environmental reviews and agreed-upon campground and trail upgrades.