Hydroelectric Plants in the USA - Montana & Wyoming
Black Eagle
Location: MT
Operator: PPL Montana
Configuration: 2 X 7.8 MW, 1 X 5.6 MW propeller
Operation: 1927
T/G supplier: SMS, AC
Quick facts: Black Eagle Dam on the Missouri River is 753ft long and 13ft high. The original powerhouse was built in 1890 and replaced in 1926. Downstream from the dam is the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail Interpretive Center, which features exhibits describing the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804–1806. PPL Montana contributed $1.1mn toward the center’s construction.

Photograph by ZenPanda (flickr)
Posted 17 Aug 2006

Fort Peck
Location: MT
Operator: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Configuration: 2 X 44 MW, 1 X 18 MW, 2 X 40 MW Francis
Operation: 1943-1961
T/G supplier: SMS, AC, Elliott
Quick facts: Fort Peck Dam was the first dam built in the upper Missouri River basin and was the largest hydraulically earth-filled dam in the world for decades. Construction began in Oct 1933 during the Great Depression and employment peaked at 11,000 in 1936. There are two powerhouses built about 20yrs apart: half their output is sold to rural electric cooperatives.

Photograph by Harry Weddington and courtesy of USACE
Posted 10 Apr 2005

Heart Mountain
Location: WY
Operator: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Configuration: 1 X 5 MW Francis
Operation: 1948
T/G supplier: SMS, Elliott
EPC: Samuels and Franklin, Gibbons and Leed Construction
Quick facts:  Heart Mountain HPP is at the outlet of Shoshone Canyon Conduit about 4mi southwest of Cody. Project development was by the office of Director H F McPhail of the Branch of Power Utilization during World War II. Funds for main construction were provided in the appropriation acts for each fiscal year from 1946 to 1949. Work began in Sep 1946, and originally was scheduled for completion in 1947. Postwar labor and materials shortages accounted for various delays and Heart Mountain was placed in service 12 Dec 1948.

Photograph courtesy of USBR
Posted 30 Nov 2013

Hungry Horse
Location: MT
Operator: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Configuration: 4 X 107 MW Francis
Operation: 1952-1953
T/G supplier: AC, GE
EPC: General-Shea-Morrison JV
Quick facts: Congress authorized construction of Hungry Horse Dam in June 1944. The units were uprated and overhauled from 1990-1993. Unit capacity went from 71.25 MW to 107 MW. Hungry Horse Dam is 564ft hight and has a variable-thickness concrete arch structure with a crest length of 2,115ft. 

Photograph courtesy of USBR
Posted 18 Mar 2005

Location: MT
Operator: PPL Montana
Configuration: 3 X 70 MW Francis
Operation: 1938-1954
T/G supplier: NN, BLH, WH
Quick facts: Construction of Kerr Dam began in 1930 by Rocky Mountain Power, a company reportedly affiliated with Montana Power Co and Anaconda Copper. After 14mos of construction, financial problems halted construction for five years. The project is named after Frank A Kerr, a president of MPC. The dam is 204ft high and 450ft long.

Photograph courtesy of PPL Corp
Posted 28 Aug 2005

Location: WY
Operator: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Configuration: 3 X 12 MW Francis
Operation: 1949-1950
T/G supplier: AC, Elliott
Quick facts: Kortes Dam, part of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program, was developed as a supplement to the Kendrick Project and received preliminary approval in Nov 1941. Kortes was authorized by the Flood Control Act of December 1944. The HPP is generally used as a peaking plant. The dam reaches 244ft in height and has a crest length of 440ft.

Photograph courtesy of USBR
Posted 17 Nov 2013


Noxon Rapids
Location: MT
Operator: Avista Corp
Configuration: 1 X 76.8-MW, 3 X 91.8-MW, 1 X 114-MW Francis
Operation: 1959-1977
T/G supplier: AC, GE
Quick facts: Noxon Rapids is the largest of Avista's eight hydro plants and was the last major hydroelectric project built in the Northwest by a private utility. The 260ft dam is on the Clark Fork River about 22mi upstream of Avista's Cabinet Gorge plant located in Idaho. Construction of Noxon Rapids nearly doubled the population of Sanders County. The plant went online on 7 Jul 1959. Avista has helped develop and improve many recreation sites in the area along with the U.S. Forest Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

Photograph courtesy of Avista Corp
Posted 13 Oct 2007


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

Updated 30-Nov-2013