A Long Tradition of Generating Power
The power -- produced at the District's plants at New Exchequer and McSwain Dams on the Merced River -- is sold to utility companies, which then sell it to consumers at increased rates. The District decided the best way to leverage its investment in generating facilities, and to benefit Eastern Merced County communities, was to develop our own electric delivery system.
In June 1926, the lights were first turned on in the powerhouse at the base of Exchequer Dam. Since then, the District. has been selling wholesale power to utility companies, most recently PG&E. Since 1967, when the McSwain and New Exchequer Dams were completed, the District has produced nearly 10 billion kilowatt hours of electricity - an average of nearly 325 million KW a year.
In May 1996 -- nearly 70 years to the day after the first power flowed out of Exchequer Dam -- the District began selling retail electric power to Foster Poultry Farms.
Since then, the District has built a sophisticated distribution system and maintains its own transmission lines and substations. The District now provides electric services to hundreds of customers in Eastern Merced County including the cities of Livingston, Atwater and Merced as well as Castle Airport and Aviation Development Center. A 34-mile transmission loop was recently completed that offers complete back-up capability to these customers, reducing the risk of prolonged outages. The District utilizes its own equipment and personnel in providing installation and maintenance services for its electric customers.