The O’Neill Pumping Plant located about 12 miles west of Los Banos lifts water from the Delta-Mendota Canal into the O’Neill Forebay. This plant is essential for supplying water to O’Neill Forebay/San Luis/San Felipe Units of the Central Valley Project.
Completed in 1968, this facility consists of an intake channel leading off the Delta-Mendota Canal and six pumping-generating units. Normally these units operate as pumps to lift water from 45 to 53 feet into the O’Neill Forebay. When water is released from the Forebay to the Delta-Mendota Canal, these units will operate as generators.
When operating as pumps and motors, each unit can discharge about 650 cubic feet per second and has a rating of 6,000 horsepower.
When operating as turbines and generators, each unit has a generating capacity of about 4,000 kilowatts.