Idaho Falls Relicensing Project
The Idaho Falls and Gem State Projects' licenses expire on January 31, 2029, and November 30, 2033, respectively. The Projects are located in general succession along the Snake River and thus share similar resource issues and stakeholders. Therefore, IFP has formally requested that FERC allow for an “aligned license” approach to eliminate redundancies during relicensing for all involved parties and stakeholders. This would assist with the comprehensive study and analysis of the Projects' cumulative environmental impacts and would reduce stakeholder burden by integrating the relicensing process. FERC approved the aligned license approach on October 21, 2021.
Idaho Falls Project
The Idaho Falls Hydroelectric Project (FERC Project No. 2842) is located on the Snake River, directly upstream from the Gem State Project, approximately 7 miles upstream of the City of Idaho Falls. The Idaho Falls Project is sometimes referred to as the “Bulb Turbine project”. The Project is located entirely on municipally owned lands and consists of three developments:
- Upper Plant
- City Plant
- Lower Plant
The three developments were constructed between 1978 and 1982. The Upper Plant consists of two concrete and earth-fill dams and spillways, and a powerhouse. The City Plant development includes a concrete dam, spillway, trash rack, Bascule gate, maintenance building, and a powerhouse. The Lower Plant consists of a concrete dam, spillway, eight radial gates, one pelican gate, and two powerhouses. The Idaho Falls Project is operated as a run-of-river facility and experiences little fluctuation during normal operations.
Gem State Project
The Gem State Hydroelectric Project (FERC Project No. 2952) is also located on the Snake River approximately 1.5 miles downstream of the Idaho Falls Project, approximately 5.5 miles southwest of the City of Idaho Falls. The Project is located entirely on municipally owned lands and consists of one development. Project facilities consist of an earth and rock fill dam, spillway, power canal, tailrace, two earth fill dikes, irrigation control structures, a powerhouse, and transmission line. The Gem State Plant is nearly as large as all four Idaho Falls Project plants combined and was constructed between 1985 and 1988.
IFP does not currently propose any operational or infrastructure changes to either Project.