Bear River

Project Overview

Bear River

The 107-megawatt (mw) Bear River Project (FERC No. 20) is located in Southeast Idaho in Caribou and Franklin Counties, and is partially located on United States lands administered by BLM. The Bear River Project is largely dependent on the Bear Lake Irrigation Project to pump water from Bear Lake into the lower river during the irrigation season. During drought years the Bear River Project may generate at less than full capacity due to lack of water in the river. View fact sheet (PDF).

Construction of the Bear River Project was authorized by the U.S. Secretary of Interior in 1907 for irrigation, flood control and hydroelectric generation. Construction of the dams began in 1909 and was completed in 1927. Utah Power acquired water rights from various holders during these years in exchange for perpetual contracts to deliver certain amounts of irrigation water released from Bear Lake. Water rights were further defined by court decrees, the Bear River Compact (as revised), and other subsequent agreements.

The Bear River Project consists of:

  • The Soda Development – a 103-foot-high concrete dam, the Soda reservoir (Alexander Reservoir), and a powerhouse with a total installed capacity of 14 mw.
  • The Grace Development – a 51-foot-high timber crib dam, a 250-acre forebay, a 26,000-foot-long flowline, and a powerhouse with a total installed capacity of 33 mw.
  • The Oneida Development – a 111-foot-high concrete dam, the Oneida reservoir, a 2,240-foot-long flowline, and a powerhouse with a total installed capacity of 30 mw.

PacifiCorp and stakeholders to the relicensing of the Bear River Project signed a Settlement Agreement on August 28, 2002, resolving all issues pertaining to relicensing. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the Settlement Agreement and issued a new 30-year license for the Bear River Project on December 22, 2003. The Settlement Agreement and new license require the provision of recreational enhancements, instream flows to benefit aquatic resources, and various funds to conserve and benefit natural resources near the project. The Environmental Coordination Committee (ECC), a stakeholder group comprised of signatories to the Settlement Agreement, was formed to consult and make decisions regarding the use of funding and other license requirements for the Bear River Project.

Project Contacts

Bear River Hydroelectric Project Administration Office

822 Grace Power Plant Road
Grace, ID 83241
(208) 852-5500

Mark Stenberg
Program Manager
822 Grace Power Plant Road
Grace, ID 83241
(208) 852-5507

Kimberly McCune
Sr. Project Coordinator
825 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 1800 
Portland, OR 97232 
(503) 813-6078