Over the last several years there has been a major push for utilities to provide renewable energy. Trinity PUD has been providing 100% renewable hydro-electricity to our customers since 1982 when we were able to realize part of the promise that was made to Trinity County citizens in the 1955 Trinity River Division Act.
The majority of Trinity PUD's customers are supplied power that is generated at Trinity Dam. The only customers that are not supplied this Trinity Dam power are in the Big Bar/Big Flat area and Hyampom areas because of the way that the transmission lines through Trinity County were built.
Hydroelectricity is one of, if not the cleanest, form of renewable energy available. There is no smoke or steam that is released into the air to generate it. There are no big towers with blades on them to kill birds. There are also no large reflective shields or panels to pollute the landscape. There are just little buildings at the base of a beautiful lake that allows summer activities and abundant fishing opportunity.
Fifty-one percent of Trinity County's water passes through four sets of hydroelectric turbines before it heads down to the farmers in the Central Valley. The water goes through the turbines at the Trinity Dam, and then it goes through the tunnel to Carr Powerhouse at Whiskeytown Lake. From there it goes through tunnels to Spring Creek Powerhouse before flowing through Keswick Dam and then down the Sacramento River to the valley south of Redding.
Trinity PUD is able to keep our rates low because we are able to purchase this low-cost energy from the Western Area Power Administration at cost. When the water is diverted from the generators to flow down the river, three of the four generation sites are bypassed, which then increases Trinity PUD's energy costs. In a typical water year, the value of the water that flows down the Trinity River to the ocean is more than $30 million.