Project Overview

Project overview

The Iowa Hill Pumped-Storage project

The pumped-storage project would add 400 megawatts of generating capacity to SMUD's hydroelectric system. It would allow us to reuse water from Slab Creek Reservoir and make more efficient use of existing resources, a critical plus in dry years.

Watch a short animation showing how it would work.

The project would require construction of a new, off-stream reservoir 1,200 feet above Slab Creek Reservoir, a new underground powerhouse, and tunnels connecting the two reservoirs. Construction would take about five years, employing an estimated 235 workers and benefiting the economy of El Dorado County.

SMUD has been working with the greater Apple Hill community since 2001 to explain the Iowa Hill proposal, answer questions and listen to feedback. In 2005, we signed a cooperation agreement with El Dorado County.

In addition, El Dorado County agencies, recreational advocates and other stakeholders participated in a collaborative process that led in 2007 to a comprehensive agreement on how SMUD should operate its hydro system in the decades to come, with Iowa Hill as part of the long-term energy solution.

The SMUD Board of Directors is expected to decide by 2017 whether to build the project. In the meantime, SMUD will continue to work closely with the community to address questions and concerns.

Iowa Hill Simulation

Iowa Hill Pumped Storage project simulation

Watch a short animation showing how it would work.

Watch the video

Joint Advisory Committee meeting

The Iowa Hill Joint Advisory Committee will meet to discuss and hear updates on the proposed Iowa Hill Pumped-Storage Project.

Wednesday, April 8 at 6 p.m.
Apple Mountain Golf Resort
3455 Carson Road
Camino, CA 95667

Agenda and more information available soon.

News & activities

Information on road and project activities, as well as current news and newsletters.
Learn more

Project timeline

View the long-term project schedule of design and construction activities (2014-2023)
View now

Contact information

If you have questions regarding the Iowa Hill project, we are eager to hear them. Please get in touch with us at or 916-732-6822.

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Iowa Hill project road and work impacts (approx. weekly)
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