Potter Valley Project

PG&E has just begun the re-licensing process for the project. Friends of the Eel River is advocating for the decommissioning and removal of the two dams. Sign up for our mailing list to receive updates about this process and opportunities to get involved.


The PG&E owned Potter Valley Project is comprised of two dams, a powerhouse with a maximum generating capacity of 9.4mw, and a diversion tunnel that artificially connects the Eel River to the East Branch Russian River. The project is located in the Eel River headwaters and diverts water out of the watershed through a tunnel in a mountain into the Russian River.

Cape Horn Dam was built in 1908, stands 96ft tall, and impounds the river to make the 700af Van Arsdale Reservoir. A few miles upstream, Scott Dam was built in 1922 and creates Lake Pillsbury Reservoir. At 138ft tall, Scott Dam lacks any fish passage, preventing migrating salmonids and other native species from accessing roughly 10% of the Eel River Watershed.