Completed in 2010, the Swalley Main Canal Piping and Hydroelectric Project permanently restored 39 cfs to the Middle Deschutes River. The conserved water greatly improved streamflow and water quality for native redband trout in a popular fishing area. The accompanying hydroelectric plant (shown below) powers ~350 households and businesses with low-impact, fish-friendly, renewable energy from water that is already travelling downstream to farmers, homes, and businesses. If our water users don't need the water, we aren't diverting it from the river. It's that simple. The Deschutes River Conservancy, Energy Trust of Oregon, and DEQ were key partners. Within Oregon, our hydroelectric plant was the first operation of it's kind built within the last 20 years.
Swalley hydropower operations are incidental to on-farm water deliveries, so green, renewable electricity is only being created when we are delivering water to our patrons. When people don't need water, power operations are ramped down. As an added benefit of owning and operating a hydro power plant, the District's operations are now carbon neutral.