Hydroelectric Plants in the USA - Idaho
Black Canyon
Location: ID
Operator: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Configuration: 2 X 5.1 MW Francis
Operation: 1925
T/G supplier: SMS, AC
Quick facts: Black Canyon Diversion Dam is on the Payette River near Emmett. The concrete gravity type dam has a structural height of 183ft. Water is diverted into the Black Canyon Main Canal to serve the Emmett Irrigation District Canal on the north side of the river. The two units were upgraded frm 4 MW in 1995. The plant supplies power to the Southern Idaho Federal Power System for BuRec A new 10-MW T/G set has been authorized for installation and the final EIA was issued in Nov 2011. The $53mn project will be funded by BPA.

Photograph courtesy of USBR
Posted 17 Nov 2013

Cabinet Gorge
Location: ID
Operator: Avista Corp
Configuration: 2 X 72 MW, 2 X 59 MW propeller
Operation: 1952-1953
T/G supplier: BLH, WH
EPC: Ebasco, Morrison Knudsen
Quick facts: Cabinet Gorge was built to help solve the critical Northwest eergy shortage of the late 1940s and early 1950s. The concrete arch dam was completed in only 21mos by 1,700 men and women working around the clock to excavate 785,000yds³ cubic yards of rock and pour 240,000yds³ of concrete. The dam is 208ft high and 600ft long and cost $47mn. Although the dam and powerhouse are located in northeastern Idaho, most of the reservoir lies in Montana and Avista has developed recreational sites the area around the reservoir in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. In 1985, Avista, Bonneville Power Administration, and the Idaho Dept of Fish and Game constructed the Cabinet Gorge Fish Hatchery (which primarily produces Kokanee salmon) about 1mi downstream.

Photograph courtesy of Avista Corp
Posted 13 Oct 2007

Dworshak Dam
Location: ID
Operator: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Configuration: 2 X 90 MW, 1 X 220 MW Kaplan
Operation: 1974-1975
T/G supplier: AC
Quick facts: The project cost $302mn. Three additional 220-MW units were planned but not installed.

Photograph courtesy of USACE
Posted 18 May 2002

Hells Canyon
Location: ID
Operator: Idaho Power Co
Configuration: 3 X 130.5 MW Francis
Operation: 1967-1968
T/G supplier: Newport News, WH
EPC: Morrison Knudsen
Quick facts: In 1947, Idaho Power applied for a license to develop the Hells Canyon Complex on the Snake River. In Aug 1955, the FPC issued Idaho Power a license to build the Brownlee, Oxbow and Hells Canyon power plants. Hells Canyon is the deepest canyon in North America and the dam is at one of the narrowest points in the gorge. A 23mi access road was required to access the construction site and helicopters helped move tools and equipment and were used to erect transmission towers. Hells Canyon Dam was built to full height in only six months.

Photograph courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Posted 7 Oct 2007

Lucky Peak
Location: ID
Operator: Seattle City Light
Configuration: 2 X 45 MW, 1 X 11 MW Kaplan
Operation: 1988
T/G supplier: Voith, Fuji
Quick facts: Project construction began in Nov 1949 and the dam became operational in Mar 1955. The rolled earth-fill dam is 340ft high and 1,700ft long at the crest. Under an agreement dating to May 1984, a powerhouse was constructed by the Boise Board of Control, a consortium of local irrigation districts. Seattle City Light runs the hydro plant and buys the output.

Photograph courtesy of USACE
Posted 10 Apr 2005

Minidoka
Location: ID
Operator: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Configuration: 1 X 3 MW Francis, 1 X 5 MW propeller, 2 X 10 MW Kaplan
Operation: 1927-1997
T/G supplier: Newport News, IPM, Voith, BBC, WH, Dongfang
Quick facts: This project is a combined diversion, storage, and power structure located just south of Minidoka. The zoned earthfill dam is 86 feet high. The reservoir, Lake Walcott, has an active storage capacity of 95,200 acre-feet. The original powerplant was constructed on the concrete buttress section of the dam and its five units have been retired. Units 6&7 were refurbished. The Allen E Inman HPP replaced replaced the retired units with two horizontal shaft Kaplan sets.

Photograph courtesy of USBR
Posted 17 Nov 2013

Palisades Dam
Location: ID
Operator: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Configuration: 4 X 44 MW impulse
Operation: 1957-1958
T/G supplier: SMS, Oerlikon
Quick facts: At completion, Palisades Dam on the Snake River had the largest volume of material placed in a dam by USBR. It is a zoned earthfill structure with a crest length of 2,100ft and containing 13.6mn cu yds of material. The power plant was uprated in 1994 when all four units were rewound.

Photograph courtesy of USBR
Posted 29 Dec 2004

Post Falls
Location: ID
Operator: Avista Corp
Configuration: 5 X 2.3-MW, 1 X 3.5-MW Francis
Operation: 1952-1953
T/G supplier: Platt Iron Works, AC, GE
Quick facts: Post Falls was constructed at an area where the Spokane River branches into three separate channels. The development includes includes three dams (north channel, middle channel, and south channel dams, which connect two islands to each other and the shorelines), spillways along the top of the north and south channel dams, a powerhouse integral to the middle channel dam, and various other structures. The North and South channel dams are spillway dams only and the Middle Channel Dam has the powerhouse.

Photograph courtesy of Avista Corp
Posted 13 Oct 2007

Swan Falls Rebuild
Location: ID
Operator: Idaho Power Co
Configuration: 2 X 12.5 MW pit
Operation: 1994
T/G supplier: Voest, GEC-Alstom
EPC: Morrison Knudsen, Al Johnson Construction
Quick facts: This was the first hydro plant on the Snake River and was built in 1901 to power nearby mines. The old plant had ten turbines with about 10-MW of installed capacity. Idaho Power acquired Swan Falls in 1916. The original equipment was retired in 1994 and replaced by new units and the old powerhouse was made into a museum.

Photograph courtesy of Idaho Power Co
Posted 7 Jun 2006

Abbreviations

Data: industcards, Platts UDI World Electric Power Plants Data Base

Updated 17-Nov-2013

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