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CLOSED-South Fork Tolt Relicensing Project Facilitation Consultant; Proposal #SCL-767031860

Original Date Posted: July 12, 2023 8:14 am

August 9th, 2023, 4:00 pm



Request for Proposal #SCL-767031860
South Fork Tolt Relicensing Project Facilitation Consultant

The South Fork Tolt River Hydroelectric Project (herein referred to as the “Project”, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [FERC] Project #2959) is City Light’s newest hydro facility. It was completed in 1996 to leverage the South Fork Tolt Reservoir and South Fork Tolt Dam owned and operated by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), which provides 30-40% of the drinking water supply for 1.5 million people in the greater Seattle area. Through this process, the South Fork Tolt Dam was brought under FERC jurisdiction. SPU is a public utility of the City of Seattle that consolidated the City’s Water Department with sewer, drainage, and garbage utility services in 1997. The City of Seattle’s then Water Department built the South Fork Tolt Dam in 1963 and began diverting municipal-supply water from the South Fork Tolt River in 1964.

The City was initially issued a FERC license for the Project in 1984. However, federal and state agencies and the Tulalip Tribes filed motions with the FERC to intervene in the licensing procedure, focusing primarily on the need to provide adequate long-term provisions for instream flows, habitat restoration, and monitoring. In 1988, City Light filed a Settlement Agreement (“Agreement”), which included fish and wildlife protection measures and mitigation jointly signed by the City, state and federal fish and wildlife agencies, and Tulalip Tribes. The Agreement was accepted by the FERC and incorporated into the license and the stay was lifted in 1989. The current, 40-year license will expire in July 2029.

The Project consists of the following key features: (1) a water supply reservoir with a gross storage capacity of 18.3 billion gallons (56,160-acre feet); (2) a 200-foot-high and 980-foot-long earth-fill South Fork Tolt Dam with a morning glory spillway; (3) a 54-inch diameter stub connected to a 25,000-foot long and 68-inch diameter steel penstock; (4) a 34-inch waterline; (5) an intertie connecting the waterline and penstock near the lower end so both pipelines in parallel supply the generator (6) a powerhouse containing one vertical shaft Pelton turbine rated at 15 MW; (7) a tailrace that connects to the regulating basin and to the river return pipe; (8) a regulating basin formed by two small dikes and impounding 882 acre-feet; (9) a pipe from the powerhouse tailrace to the South Fork Tolt River to return excess water flow to the river (referred to as the River Return Valve); (10) an energy dissipating structure at the river to reduce return water velocity such as to not be attractive to anadromous fish; (11) a switchyard; (12) an access road; (13) an 8.4-mile-long transmission line; and (14) appurtenant facilities.

The Project is approximately 35 miles east of Seattle in the mid-Cascade Range, near the towns of Carnation and Duvall and includes the South Fork Tolt Municipal Watershed (SFTMW), which encompasses the 12,107-acre drainage area upstream of the South Fork Tolt Dam. The western 8,339 acres of the municipal watershed are owned and managed by SPU (and closed to public access to preserve water quality), and the eastern 3,708 acres are National Forest Service lands administered by the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (and are open to the public). In 2011, SPU adopted the South Fork Tolt Watershed Management Plan (Plan) that largely focuses on near-term road system improvements, small aquatic habitat restoration projects, and initiating the Plan’s long-term forest habitat management program all within the SFTMW.
In addition to managing the City-owned lands within the SFTMW, SPU owns and operates the South Fork Tolt Dam and reservoir, the Regulating Basin and other facilities and rights of way downstream of the South Fork Tolt Dam, which are also with in the Project Boundary. City Light owns and
operates the hydro facility and is the FERC Licensee and the official Licensing Applicant for the new license. Additional lands downstream of the South Fork Tolt Dam are part of the Snoqualmie Tree Farm and are managed by Campbell Global, LLC for timber harvest. City Light and SPU together manage the City’s investments in the Project with City Light focused on hydropower generation and SPU focused on water supply operations. Both City Departments (SPU and City Light) have oversight responsibilities related to FERC compliance under the current license and given the entwined operations they will partner on the relicensing process to secure the next FERC license for the Project.

The City must initiate the formal relicensing process with the filing of its Notice of Intent (NOI) and Pre-Application Document (PAD) between January 20, 2024, and July 20, 2024, and file its License Application by July 19, 2027.

This contract will not exceed $2,350,000 through the entire relicensing process. Under this Request for Proposal (RFP), we are seeking FACILITATION Consultant services for all services described in the Statement of Work (SOW) in Section 5 below. This RFP is anticipated to be a multi-year contract with a term of engagement extending through the target license issuance date of July 2029. This scope of work assumes that the FERC will select the Integrated Licensing Process (ILP).

OBTAINING THE RFQ DOCUMENTS: Documents will be available online July 12, 2023, at Consultants must complete a free registration prior to viewing, printing, and saving to their own equipment at no cost or ordering full or partial document sets and/or CDs through the Web site. For help using this site, please contact Bonfire at for technical questions. You can also visit their help forum at internet access to obtain these documents is available at Seattle Neighborhood Service Centers and most public libraries.

Seattle City Light is hosting a Pre-submittal Conference virtually via MS Teams on July 18, 2023, from 11:00 am -12:00 pm (PDT). Details are provided in the RFP. The City’s proposed schedule is outlined in the RFP.

The contract(s) awarded as a result of this RFQ will be awarded in a manner that will comply with all applicable laws of the United States, State of Washington, the City Charter, and Ordinances of the City of Seattle.

“WOMEN AND MINORITY AFFIRMATIVE EFFORTS REQUIREMENTS: All proposals are required to meet the Affirmative Efforts requirements as specified in the RFQ. An Outreach Plan will be required for the top-rated consultant(s).”

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