Transmission for California’s Central Valley
Barry Mortimeyer is the Chief of the Power Operations Division at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Sacramento.
PUF: You're head of the Power Operations Division for the Central Valley part of the Bureau of Reclamation. What do you do?
Barry Mortimeyer: Reclamation has projects authorized by Congress throughout the different regions of the Western U.S. Reclamation projects are unique, in that much of the original investment in the power facilities is one hundred percent reimbursable by its water and power customers.
We're in the mid-Pacific Region. The Central Valley Project was basically authorized to manage the rivers in the Central Valley of California.
We have our dams, reservoirs, and power plants to capture the water runoff from rain and snow events throughout the wet times of the year. The water is used to produce hydroelectric generation. We deliver the water from the Northern California area to some of our irrigators and water refuges in Central California.
I'm the power operations manager who oversees how we schedule and operate those power plants. I'm not so much into the maintenance activity performed by local offices, but just the day-to-day coordinated operation, to make sure that we optimize our power generation through the higher value times of the day.
PUF: These are all hydro facilities? Give me a quick overview of that, please.