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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Wells Project?

The Wells Project, also referred to as the Wells Hydroelectric Project, includes Wells Dam, Wells Forebay, Wells Tailrace, Wells Reservoir, and all land currently below the Wells Project Boundary as defined by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Where is Wells Dam located?

Wells Dam is located at river mile 515.6 on the Columbia River in the State of Washington. This location is approximately 30 river miles downstream from Chief Joseph Dam, owned and operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and 42 miles upstream from Rocky Reach Dam owned and operated by Chelan County PUD. The nearest town is Pateros, which is located approximately 8 miles upstream from Wells Dam.

What is a project license?

A project license details the terms and conditions upon which a facility can be operated. The Wells Project must be operated in accordance with the specifications described in its license. FERC is the licensing agency for hydroelectric and other energy-generating projects.

When was Douglas PUD granted its original license?

The Federal Power Commission, now known as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, issued Douglas PUD a 50-year license to operate the Wells Project on July 12, 1962.

When does the current license expire?

The FERC license for the project expires on May 31, 2012.

When will Douglas PUD submit its final license application?

Douglas PUD filed its final license application with the FERC on May 27, 2010. This application will be for a new license to operate the Wells Project beyond May 31, 2012.

Why does it take so long to relicense a hydroelectric facility?

There are many issues that must be addressed when relicensing a hydroelectric project. These issues involve environmental, land, recreation, wildlife, water quality, cultural and aquatic resources. Many state agencies, federal agencies and other parties have an interest in ensuring that these issues will be appropriately addressed during any new license term. The relicensing process requires detailed documentation, studying, and reporting as well as meetings with all parties. Douglas PUD submitted its Pre-Application Document to FERC on December 1, 2006. Douglas PUD filed with the FERC the Draft License Application on December 18, 2009 and the Final License Application on May 27, 2010.

What will be the term of the next Wells Project license?

Douglas PUD is seeking a 50-year license.

How can the public stay involved throughout the relicensing process?

Douglas PUD values public participation and will appreciate public involvement and input throughout the relicensing process. Douglas PUD encourages members of the public to monitor the relicensing website, call the Douglas PUD offices, and attend public meetings if they have any questions or desire to be involved in the relicensing process.

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