Klamath River

Project Overview

Klamath River

PacifiCorp’s 169-megawatt (MW) Klamath Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 2082) is located in a predominantly rural area in southwestern Oregon (Klamath County) and northern California (Siskiyou County). View fact sheet (PDF). The project generates approximately 716 gigawatt-hours of emissions-free electricity on an annual basis – enough power to supply the energy needs of approximately 70,000 households.

Originating from Upper Klamath Lake in southern Oregon, the Klamath River flows more than 250 miles through southern Oregon and northern California before emptying into the Pacific Ocean near Klamath, California. The river drains an area of about 13,000 square miles. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) owns several large tracts of land in the project vicinity and is responsible for the management of the designated Klamath Wild and Scenic Reach, which covers about 11 miles of the project’s total 64 mile length.

Built between 1903 and 1962, PacifiCorp’s Klamath Hydroelectric Project consists of seven hydroelectric developments and one non-generating dam. The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation owns Link River Dam which PacifiCorp operates in coordination with the company’s hydroelectric projects. The Link River Dam, located upstream of PacifiCorp’s projects, controls storage within and releases from Upper Klamath Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Oregon. Water releases from Upper Klamath Lake through Link River dam are directed by the Bureau of Reclamation to fulfill the primary objectives of regulating Klamath River flows to benefit fish and wildlife, meeting irrigation demands, and providing for flood control. Diversions for hydroelectric purposes occur after these objectives are attained.

All of Klamath's Hydroelectric Project developments use water from the mainstem Klamath River to generate electricity with the exception of one plant located on Fall Creek, a tributary to the Klamath River.

The seven hydroelectric developments within the Klamath Hydroelectric Project are:

  • Eastside
  • Westside
  • JC Boyle
  • Copco No. 1
  • Copco No. 2
  • Fall Creek
  • Iron Gate

Keno Dam, located 22 miles downstream of the Link River dam, does not produce electricity but regulates the water level in Keno Reservoir as required by the operating license for the project issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The Klamath developments have a total of 12 turbine-generators; five limited storage reservoirs and five concrete or earth/rock fill dams. The project’s five reservoirs range in size from 40 to about 1,000 surface acres. The 173-foot earth and rockfill dam associated with the Iron Gate project is the tallest dam — it forms the 944-acre Iron Gate Reservoir. As the last development in the sequence of PacifiCorp’s Klamath hydroelectric facilities, Iron Gate serves as a reregulation facility for river flows downstream of the project.

PacifiCorp maintains 20 recreation sites associated with the Klamath project. Attracting thousands of visitors each year, the Klamath facilities include campgrounds, boat ramps, trails, and picnic, fishing and swimming areas.

In 2000, the FERC relicensing process was initiated for PacifiCorp's Klamath River project in southern Oregon and northern California. In February 2010, PacifiCorp and more than 40 other signatories executed the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA), which provides a framework for the potential removal of PacifiCorp's Klamath River dams in 2020.  See the links above for more information about the KHSA.

Project Contacts

Demian Ebert
Program Manager
825 NE Multnomah, Suite 1800
Portland, OR 97232
(503) 813-6625

Beth Bendickson
Sr. Project Coordinator
825 NE Multnomah, Suite 1800
Portland, OR 97232
(503) 553-4650