Yuba Water Agency owns and operates four separate hydroelectric powerhouses on the Yuba River, including New Colgate Powerhouse, Narrows 2 Powerhouse, Narrows 1 Powerhouse and the New Bullards Bar fish release powerhouse. These facilities are ideally suited to provide carbon-free energy and capacity in support of California’s resource needs for a reliable, renewable energy grid, and are a flexible complement to solar and wind power.
New Colgate Powerhouse - 340 Megawatts
New Colgate Powerhouse is located on the main stem of the Yuba River downstream of the convergence of the North Yuba River, Middle Yuba River, and Oregon Creek.
Water is carried nearly five miles from New Bullards Bar Reservoir through a 26-foot-diameter tunnel, and then makes its way down a 15-foot-diameter penstock to drive two of the largest single-cast turbines ever built. These turbines can produce up to 340 megawatts, which is enough electricity for approximately 350,000 people.
Narrows 2 Powerhouse - 55 Megawatts
The Narrows 2 development is located on the main stem of the Yuba River. The development includes one power tunnel and penstock, and one powerhouse. Narrows 2 Powerhouse is located downstream from Englebright Dam and receives the water to drive its turbine from Englebright Reservoir. This powerhouse supplements Narrows 1 Powerhouse, which is located on the opposite side of the river.
New Bullards Bar Minimum Instream Flow Powerhouse - 150 Kilowatts
The fish release powerhouse generates power from the water released at the base of the New Bullards Bar Dam and is used for fishery maintenance on the river.
This facility was added in 1986 and can be used to operate the spillway gates for New Bullards Bar Dam in the case of a power outage.
Narrows 1 Powerhouse - 12 Megawatts
Located across the Yuba River from Yuba Water Agency’s Narrows 2 Powerhouse, Narrows 1 was purchased in 2020 from PG&E, but has been generating clean energy since its construction in 1942. The acquisition of the facility complements Yuba Water’s other hydropower assets, while enabling the agency to continue to provide reliable flows for salmon and steelhead in the lower Yuba River.