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Trinity Dam and Powerplant

Trinity Dam and Powerplant

Plant Contact: Brian Person
Area Manager, Northern California Area Office
Telephone Numbers: Phone: (530) 275-1554
Fax: (530) 275-2441
E-Mail Address: bperson@mp.usbr.gov
Reclamation Region: Mid-Pacific
NERC Region: Western Electricity Coordinating Council, California-Southern Nevada Power Area
PMA Service Area: Western Area Power Administration, Sierra Nevada Region
Project Authorization:

Funds for construction of the initial features of the Central Valley Project were provided by the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 (49 Stat. 115). The Secretary of the Interior authorized the project and the President approved it on December 2, 1935.

The Shasta and Trinity River Division was authorized by Public Law 386, 84th Congress, 1st Session, approved August 12, 1955.

Project Purposes:

The Central Valley Project, one of the Nation's major water conservation developments, extends from the Cascade Range on the north to the semiarid but fertile plains along the Kern River on the south. Initial features of the project were built primarily to protect the Central Valley from crippling water shortages and menacing floods. New project units were built to provide water and power to match the continued growth of the State.

Although developed primarily for irrigation, this multiple-purpose project also provides flood control, improves Sacramento River navigation, supplies domestic and industrial water, generates electric power, conserves fish and wildlife, creates opportunities for recreation, and enhances water quality.

The Trinity River Division consists of Trinity Dam and Clair Engle Lake, Trinity Powerplant, Lewiston Dam and Lake, Lewiston Powerplant, Clear Creek Tunnel, Judge Francis Carr Powerhouse, Whiskeytown Dam and Lake, Spring Creek Tunnel and Powerplant, Spring Creek Debris Dam and Reservoir, and related pumping and distribution facilities.

Plant Facts: Trinity Dam is a zoned earthfill structure 538 feet high and 40 feet wide at the crest. The crest is 2,600 feet long.
Plant Purpose: Trinity Powerplant is a peaking plant. The power generated is dedicated first to meeting the requirements of the project facilities. The remaining energy is marketed to various preference customers in northern California.
Plant History: These facilities were built and are operated by the Bureau of Reclamation. Transmission lines were constructed and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation until October 1, 1977, when they were transferred to the Western Area Power Administration, Department of Energy.
Present Activities: Normal operations. Primary reservoir releases are made through the powerplant.
Future Planned Activities: None
Special Issues: Trinity County has first preference to the power benefit to the Central Valley Project from Trinity Powerplant.
River: Trinity River
Plant Type: Conventional
Powerhouse Type: Above Ground
Turbine Type: Francis
Original Nameplate Capacity: 100,000 kW
Installed Capacity: 140,000 kW
Year of Initial Operation: 1964
Age: 41 years
Net Generation:
(FY 2005)
384,002,000 kWh
Rated Head: 426 feet
Plant Factor:
(FY 2005)
31.43 percent
Remotely Operated: Yes
Production Mode: Peaking

Click here for graphs and charts of Trinity Powerplant performance.

Click here for information on Trinity Dam.

Click here for information on the Central Valley Project.

See also our Mid-Pacific Region's Northern California Area Office Page

Revised April 10, 2007             Hydropower Site Map             Help