BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — PG&E has sold its Kern Canyon hydroelectric project to Kern and Tule Hydro LLC after the California Public Utilities Commission approved the sale and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the license transfer. Escrow closed Tuesday.
This brings to a close maneuvers that began in 2018 when PG&E issued a request for offers to buy the 11.5-megawatt facility near Highway 178, about 15 miles east of Bakersfield.
Built in 1921, the Kern Canyon Project is comprised of a small diversion dam, 1.6-mile tunnel and a floodgate to the single generating unit at the Kern Canyon powerhouse. A rockslide in 2017 damaged the dam’s gates and a catwalk, and the powerhouse hasn’t operated since. PG&E said it took the dam out of service by removing the spillway gates to allow water to pass.
“The project is no longer an economic source of electric generation for PG&E’s customers as it is
far from other PG&E hydroelectric facilities and the regional headquarters, making it costly for
PG&E to operate,” the utility said in a release. “An increasingly competitive energy market, lower generation needs forecasted on PG&E’s system and the increasing cost of operating the facility were all factors in PG&E’s decision.”
The sale includes 700 acres of land.