The Shasta Powerplant is located just below Shasta Dam. Water from the dam is released through five 15-foot penstocks leading to the five main generating units and two station service units. Water released to meet downstream commitments will pass through the generators causing them to spin, generating clean, inexpensive hydroelectric power for distribution to the western U.S. power grid.
Power generation at Shasta Dam is very closely tied to water demand: as the reservoir water is called upon to meet water needs downstream, it is sent through generators for power production. Power generated is then available to meet project demands (to operate pumping plants, etc.) as well as other power demands. Sale of generated power at the Shasta Powerplant is managed by the Department of Energy’s Western Area Power Administration to power companies, meeting the needs of consumers in the western United States. The sale of this electricity produces over $50 million dollars in revenue annually to the federal government.
The Shasta Powerplant is a peaking plant. Its power is dedicated first to meeting the requirements of the project facilities. The remaining energy is marketed to various preference customers in northern California. Transmission lines were operated by Reclamation until October 1, 1977, when they were transferred to the Western Area Power Administration, Department of Energy.
Unit 4 and 5 were uprated to 142 MW in 1998 and 1999, respectively. Units 1 and 2 were uprated to 125 MW each in 1980. Units 3, 4, and 5 were uprated in 1968-1974. The replacement of Unit 3 turbine will be completed in June 2005. Downstream water temperature requirements required bypasses of outflows around the powerplant and resulted in around 2,000,000 megawatt-hours of lost generation.
|NERC Region||Western Electricity Coordinating Council, California-So. Nevada Power Area|
|PMA Service Area||Western Area Power Administration, Sierra Nevada Region|
|Powerhouse Type||Above Ground|
|Original Nameplate Capacity||379,000 kW|
|Installed Capacity||663,000 kW|
|Year of Initial Operation||1944|
|Rated Head||330 ft|
|Plant Factor||33.1 percent|