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Oroville Facilities Complex

Picture of Oroville Dam
Oroville Dam was named by the California Society of Professional Engineers as one of the seven wonders of engineering in California in 1967. At 770 feet, it is the tallest dam in the nation.
(click the image for a larger view)

Lake Oroville and Oroville Dam are part of a complex which includes Hyatt Powerplant, Thermalito Diversion Dam and Powerplant, the Feather River Fish Hatchery, Thermalito Power Canal, Thermalito Forebay, Thermalito Pumping- Generating Plant, Thermalito Afterbay, and the Lake Oroville Visitors Center.

The Oroville-Thermalito Complex was designed as an efficient water and power system. It stores about 3.5 million acre-feet and generates power from releases made through Hyatt Powerplant and two other Thermalito generating plants. A special fish barrier dam was built to lead salmon and steelhead, returning to spawn, into the Feather River Fish Hatchery.

Picture of the Thermalito pumping-generating plant
Thermalito Pumping-Generating Plant is operated in tandem with Hyatt Powerplant and Thermalito Diversion Dam Powerplant in pumpback operations. Three of its four units can pump and generate.
(click the image for a larger view)

Water released from Lake Oroville is used to produce electricity by Hyatt Powerplant, located in the bedrock beneath Oroville Dam. Water can either enter the Feather River or be diverted by the Thermalito Diversion Dam.

Water diverted is used to generate power by the one-unit Thermalito Diversion Dam Powerplant.

From there the water enters the Thermalito Power Canal and flows into Thermalito Forebay. At the end of the forebay, water enters the Thermalito Afterbay and is used by the Thermalito Pumping-Generating Plant to produce electricity.

The plant can also pump water back to the lake to be reused for power generation at Hyatt Powerplant.

The Feather River Fish Hatchery and the Fish Barrier Pool are located along the Feather River below the lake and the visitors center is located near Lake Oroville.