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News Release
Commission Approves Pelton Round Butte Dam Agreement
August 23, 2000 (2000-039)
Contacts: Ron Eachus, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Roger Hamilton, Commissioner 503 378-6611; Joan H. Smith, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Information Officer, 503 378-8962
Salem, OR - The Oregon Public Utility Commission has approved an agreement that will make Portland General Electric (PGE) and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs partners in owning and relicensing the Pelton Round Butte (PRB) Hydroelectric project in central Oregon and avoid competing applications for licensing of the dam. It also ensures the Pacific Northwest region as a whole will continue to have access to the energy produced by the dams.
The project produces 1.5 billion kilowatt-hours of relatively low cost, reliable, and environmentally benign electric power annually. That's enough energy to supply a city of 120,000.
"This agreement ensures that PGE ratepayers will continue to benefit from low cost power. At the same time the Warm Springs tribes will have a greater role in the stewardship of fish and other natural resources that are impacted by the project and located on tribal lands," said Commissioner Roger Hamilton. "It is a win-win for both these competing interests."
Under the agreement the tribes will buy a one-third interest in Pelton Round Butte on Dec. 31, 2001. The sale price will be approximately $15.5 million. In 20 years the tribes have the option to increase their share to 49.99 percent. There is an additional option for the tribes to take a controlling interest of 50.01 percent by 2037.
PGE currently pays the tribes $10 million a year to use the tribal lands. The payments will end when the tribes buy their one-third share.
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