The North Fork
Stanislaus River Hydroelectric Development Project is a joint
development project by Northern California Power Agency (NCPA) and
Calaveras County Water District (CCWD). CCWD is the Licensee and
NCPA is the Project Operator. The North Fork Stanislaus
River Project combines water usage and electric power in an
environmentally sound manner, plus provides recreation for Californians.
Spanning 60 miles of the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, the Project
ranges from the North Fork Diversion Dam at the alpine elevation of
6,700 feet to the Collierville Power Plant in the North Fork Stanislaus
Canyon at 1,099 feet. In developing the project, NCPA and CCWD
worked with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service,
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, California Department of Fish and Game,
California Department of Water Resources, and various other federal,
state and county agencies to create a multipurpose project of maximum
benefit to mankind and the environment.
Melting snow and the runoff of summer thunderstorms collect in the New
Spicer drainage basin and flow into the New Spicer Meadow Reservoir.
Additional water from the North Fork Stanislaus River is diverted to the
reservoir via a two-mile tunnel from the North Fork Diversion Dam.
Water is released from the New Spicer Meadow Reservoir to satisfy
recreational needs, fish flow, domestic water and irrigation usage, and
to meet NCPA's energy demand for power generation at the Collierville
Powerhouse. This water flows into Highland Creek which meets the
North Fork Stanislaus River. Water is finally impounded in the
McKays Point Reservoir. A small diversion dam was constructed on
Beaver Creek, a tributary of the North Fork Stanislaus River, to divert
additional water from Beaver Creek into the McKays Point Reservoir.
From McKays Point, the water enters an 18 foot diameter, 8.5 mile
tunnel. The water picks up the gravitational energy as it falls
the distance of 2,270 feet from McKays Point to the Collierville
Powerhouse. The energy is sufficient to rotate two large turbines
and generators weighing a total of 422 tons at a speed of 450
revolutions per minute. The electric power created by the
generators is "stepped up" in voltage at the Collierville Substation,
then transmitted to PG&E's Bellotta Substation. NCPA built 40
miles of 230 kilovolt transmission lines to connect the Collierville
Powerhouse with PG&E's Bellota substation. The power is dispatched
to NCPA members to help satisfy their electric energy requirements.
Upper Utica Project consists of: (1) Lake Alpine Dam is formed
by five small dams. The main dam is a 49-foot high rock fill dam
on Silver Creek. The Lake Alpine Dam forms a 4,117 acre-foot
reservoir with a surface area of approximately 173 acres. (2)
Union Reservoir is formed by seven small dams. The main dam is a
33 foot high, rock-fill (with upstream masonry face) dam, on the North
Fork Stanislaus River. It is located upstream of the Utica
Reservoir. The Union reservoir Dam forms a 3,130-acre foot
reservoir with a surface area of approximately 218 acres. (3)
Utica Reservoir is formed by five small dams. The main dam is a
59-foot high, rock-fill (with reinforced concrete face) dam on the North
Fork Stanislaus River. It is located upstream of the North Fork
Diversion Dam. The Utica Reservoir Dam forms a 2,334 acre foot
reservoir with a surface area of approximately 241 acres.
There are no hydroelectric generation facilities at this project as the
dams and reservoirs described above regulate water flows for downstream
power generation. The Upper Utica Project is located in the
Stanislaus National Forest managed by the U.S. Forest Service.