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Folsom Powerplant

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Folsom Dam
Folsom and Sly Park Units Project
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Folsom Powerplant Performance (pdf)
RegionFacilities in Mid-Pacific | Mid-Pacific Home Page
RiverAmerican River
PurposeFolsom is a peaking powerplant which is dedicated first to meeting the requirements of the project facilities. The remaining energy is marketed to various preference customers in northern California. This plant also provides power for the pumping plant, which supplies the local domestic water supply.
FactsFolsom Dam is a concrete gravity structure 340 feet high and 36 feet wide at the crest. The crest is 1,400 feet long. Folsom Powerplant, constructed by Reclamation, is located at the foot of Folsom Dam on the north side of the river. Water from the dam is released through three 15-foot-diameter penstocks to three generating units.
HistoryFolsom Dam was constructed by the Corps of Engineers and upon completion was transferred to the Bureau of Reclamation for coordinated operation as an integral part of the Central Valley Project. Construction of the dam began in October 1948 and was completed in May 1955. The units were up rated in 1972.
Present ActivitiesFolsom Powerplant is an integral component of the Reservoir Flood Control Operation. The powerplant is used to augment early flood control releases.
Future Planned ActivitiesThe powerplant will continue to be used to augment early flood control releases from the reservoir. Continued peaking operation is planned as releases permit. Folsom is providing a larger degree of local voltage control.
Special IssuesFolsom is being increasingly relied upon to support local loads during system disturbances.
NERC RegionWestern Electricity Coordinating Council, California-Southern Nevada Power Area
PMA Service AreaWestern Area Power Administration, Sierra Nevada Region
Plant TypeConventional
Powerhouse TypeAbove Ground
Turbine TypeFrancis
Original Nameplate Capacity162,000 kW
Installed Capacity198,720 kW
Year of Initial Operation1955
Age52 years
Net Generation425,862,000 kWh
(Fiscal Year)2007
Rated Head300 ft
Plant Factor24.6 percent
(Fiscal Year)2007
Production ModeIntermediate
Remotely OperatedYes
Project AuthorizationFunds 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.
Project PurposeThe 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.
Project PurposeAlthough 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.
First nameDrew
Last nameLessard
TitleArea Office Manager, Central California Area Office
Phone (Individual)916 989-7180

Last updated: May 13, 2009