Castaic Power Plant

Castaic Power Plant, also known as the Castaic Pumped-Storage Plant, is a seven unit pumped-storage hydroelectric plant, operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which provides peak load power from the falling water on the West Branch of the California State Aqueduct. It is a cooperative venture between the LADWP and the Department of Water Resources of the State of California. An agreement between the two organizations was signed on September 2, 1966, for construction of the project.

Pumped-storage hydroelectric power station in Los Angeles County, California
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Dam in Los Angeles County, California

Castaic Power Plant

Front of Castaic Power Plant
Official name Castaic Power Plant
Country United States
Location Los Angeles County, California
Coordinates

34°35′14.32″N118°39′23.88″W

Construction began 1966
Opening date July 11, 1973 [1]
Owner(s) CDWR, LADWP
Upper reservoir
Creates Pyramid Lake
Total capacity 186,000 acre⋅ft (229,427,622 m3)
Lower reservoir
Creates Elderberry Forebay
Total capacity 28,400 acre⋅ft (35,030,884 m3)
Power Station
Hydraulic head 1,060 ft (323 m)
Turbines 7
Pump-generators 6
Installed capacity 1507 MW (nominal)
1247 MW (rated)
Annual generation 880,702,000 KWh (gross, 2001–2012)
319,181,000 KWh (net, 2001–2012)[2]

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The Castaic Power Plant is located about 22 miles (35 km) from the northern Los Angeles city limits at the upper end of the West arm of Castaic Lake.

California State Aqueduct water en route to Southern California is pumped up through the Tehachapi Mountains (by the Edmonston Pumping Plant) to the Tehachapi Afterbay. There the aqueduct divides into East and West Branches. The West Branch water is again pumped at the Oso Pumping Plant to Quail Lake, near Highway 138 East of Gorman. From here it flows through a permanent pipeline waterway to Warne Power Plant, which is located at the inlet to Pyramid Lake. The Warne Plant was constructed by the state of California in 1983. Pyramid Lake has a surface area of 1,380 acres (560 ha) and a storage capacity of 180,000 acre-feet (220,000,000 m3) with a maximum water surface elevation of 2,578 feet (786 m) above sea level. Pyramid Lake is the upper forebay for the Castaic Power Plant.

Main article: Angeles Tunnel

The State of California had planned to build a tunnel17 feet (5.2 m) in diameter. Under the cooperative development, this tunnel was enlarged to 30 feet (9.1 m) in diameter. The 7.2-mile (11.6 km) long tunnel, including the penstocks, drops water 1,060 feet (320 m) between Pyramid Lake and the hydroelectric power facilities, and carries over five times the flow previously contemplated for the 17-foot (5.2 m) tunnel.

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