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California looks at revisiting small hydro

As a result of the energy crisis, Kings River Conservation District of central California, US, has announced it is investigating ways to develop its hydro power potential. The District is updating a 1985 study on 11 small hydroelectric projects along the Kings River. The decision comes after the district’s US$215,000 investment in May 2001 to update the 1980s Bechtel Corporation study on a controversial hydroelectric project on Dinkey Creek. Dinkey Creek and Rodgers Crossing projects were abandoned in the 1980s after fierce opposition from environmentalists.

The Californian electricity crisis has inspired similar investigations into shelved hydroelectric projects in other parts of the Sierra.