High-Country Hydro

by Rita Robison, Senior Editor; Civil Engineering, New York City,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 5, Pg. 68-70

Document Type: Feature article


The North Fork Stanislaus River Hydroelectric Development Project is a new 205 MW $267 million hydro plant in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Completed in 1989, the project was the largest lump sum turnkey contract in U.S. history. The owners, the Calaveras County Water District, and the operators, the Northern California Power Agency began planning in 1947. Permit proceedings began in 1979, and the project was licensed in 1984 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The owners wanted a guaranteed completion date and project performance for the lump sum price. The bidders had to determine the best cost-effective design given the general configuration of the project as approved by the agency. Guy F. Atkinson, South San Francisco, was the leader of the successful turnkey bidders. In addition to design, construction, and costing out the complex job, the team spent months on risk evaluation. This consideration included major liquidated damages for delay of power on the scheduled completion date as well as substantial damages for power levels less than that forecast. The scheduling is described and suggestions for managing such projects offered.

Subject Headings: Hydro power | Owners | Scheduling | Rivers and streams | Mountains | History | Permits | Licensure and certification | United States | Nevada | California

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