Nevada Irrigation District is just entering the 5th and final year of the formal process for relicensing the Yuba Bear River Hydroelectric facilities. NID is now talking with other agencies and interested parties about the terms and conditions that might be included in a new license as they go forward for the next 30 or 45 years. NID General Manager Ron Nelson says some of the topics being discussed.
“Those being how much water is left in stream during the new operating agreement, how much recreation we’ll have in and around the facilities. How we’ll deal with other natural resource values and aesthetics. There’s quite a lengthy list of things we’re discussing.”
Nelson says when the facilities in the Bear Yuba Watershed were being contemplated NID didn’t have the money to put them in. Nelson says that’s when they partnered with PG&E to provide facilities in exchange for the rights to the power.
“PG&E under that agreement paid for all the costs of putting this facilities in, paid the maintenance and operating costs and the benefit to the district has been that all the reservoirs and all the canals and all the facilities in the upper country were already paid for.”
Under the new licensing agreement NID will pay the maintenance costs and is hoping to receive around $10 million dollars a year for Energy sales. The current license expires in March of 2013.