Deadlines Approaching! Register Now for On-Site Tours at Clean Currents

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Deadlines Approaching! Register Now for On-Site Tours at Clean Currents


September 6, 2022


Jeremy Chase-Israel, Content Development Specialist, NHA


Deadlines Approaching! Register Now for On-Site Tours at Clean Currents

NHA thanks our sponsors:

Kleinschmidt Associates

The National Hydropower Association’s Clean Currents offers a unique and valuable waterpower event experience. With a focus on engaging the industry through participation, one of the highlights of Clean Currents are the on-site tours. For 2022’s Clean Currents, which takes place in Sacramento from October 18 – 20, three on-site tours are available, but the spots are filling fast, and with the deadlines for registration quickly approaching, Clean Currents’ attendees are encouraged to sign-up now.

The available tours and their deadlines are as follows:

  • Lake Oroville Complex: September 16 deadline
  • New Bullards Bar Dam and New Colgate Powerhouse: September 30 deadline
  • White Rock Powerhouse: October 10 deadline

The on-site tours offer attendees unprecedented access to world-class waterpower facilities responsible for providing renewable energy to communities across California. With chartered buses, lunch, and the opportunity to learn from utilities critical to achieving the state’s net-zero goals, the tours are available for $50 and can be purchased while registering for Clean Currents.


Hosted by California Department of Water Resources, the tour of Lake Oroville Complex takes place on Monday, October 17. Running from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., 60 attendees will have the chance to experience one of California’s most important assets – the California State Water Project, which is recognized by The American Society of Civil Engineers 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: Detailed exhibits on Lake Oroville hydropower and reservoir operations; watch a video on the construction of Oroville Dam; 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: The tallest dam in the United States at 770 feet high and 7,000 feet long; it was constructed from 80 million cubic yards of material.
  3. Oroville Dam Spillways: Reconstructed in 2017-2018, the main spillway is over 3,000 feet long and 180 feet wide.
  4. Edward Hyatt Powerplant: 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: 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.


Hosted by Yuba Water Agency, the tour of New Bullards Bar Dam and New Colgate Powerhouse takes place on Monday, October 17. Running from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., forty attendees will travel by bus to the site, which is located 90 minutes from Sacramento.

New Bullards Bar Dam is the fifth tallest dam in the United States, and the reservoir, surrounded by the Plumas and Tahoe National Forest, is home to the world record for the largest spotted bass at 11.4 pounds. The reservoir stores nearly 1 million acre-feet of water and provides dedicated flood storage of 170,000 acre-feet during the winter.

New Colgate Powerhouse, which is also part of the tour, is Yuba Water Agency’s largest, and it houses two of the biggest single-cast Pelton Wheel turbines ever built. Water carried by tunnels from New Bullards Bar Reservoir is routed down a 15-foot diameter penstock, which drives these two powerful turbines, producing a total of up to 350 MW of electricity.


Hosted by Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), the tour of White Rock Powerhouse takes place on Tuesday, October 18. Running from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., seventy-five attendees will be able to experience the cornerstone of SMUD’s 2030 Zero Carbon Plan hydro portfolio – the White Rock Powerhouse.

Providing 224 MW of hydropower, 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, and it also served as SMUD’s hydro-headquarters during the month-long Caldor Fire evacuation in 2021. Attendees will be able to all areas of the powerhouse – from the switchyard to the turbine floor.


Interested attendees can sign-up for the on-site tours when registering for Clean Currents.