County Water Agency owns four powerhouses on the Yuba River Watershed:
- New Colgate – 340 megawatts
- Narrows 2 – 55 megawatts
- Deadwood Creek – 2 megawatts
- Fish Release – 150 kilowatts
New Colgate Powerhouse provides more energy than any other hydroelectric facility supplying power directly to PG&E. The Colgate turbines are the largest of their kind ever built. Water carried nearly five miles from the New Bullards Bar Reservoir travels through a 26-foot-diameter tunnel, then plunges down a 15 foot diameter penstock to drive the two turbines which produce a total of 315 megawatts of electricity. That’s enough electricity for a city of 350,000 people.
Narrows 2 Powerhouse, located just downstream of Englebright Dam, gets the water to drive its turbine from Englebright reservoir. Narrows 2 supplements the smaller PG&E Narrows Powerhouse, which is visible on the other side of the river and accessible only by a short, very steep funicular railway.
The Fish Release Powerhouse is so named because it generates power from the water released at the base of the New Bullards Bar Dam for fishery maintenance on the river. This facility was added by the Agency in 1986. If there is a power outage at the dam, this tiny powerhouse can be used to operate the massive spillway gates of the New Bullards Bar Dam.
Deadwood Creek Powerhouse is the most recent addition to the Agency’s power producing capability. Located at the upper end of the New Bullards Bar Reservoir, it is accessible only by boat or hiking trail. It went into service in 1993, after the Agency bought the uncompleted project from creditors who had taken it over when earlier companies failed to complete construction.