Clean, renewable and affordable electricity.
Hydropower is, very simply put, energy derived from the flow of water. Utilizing water flow is not new: more than 2,000 years ago, the ancient Greeks used water wheels to grind grain. Additionally, the power of the water has been used to saw wood and power textile mills and manufacturing plants.
Hydropower has provided the Pacific Northwest with clean, renewable and affordable electricity since the early 1900s.
- Providing a renewable source of energy:
- Hydropower is a clean, reusable source of electricity. It produces no emissions and its fuel (water) can be used at each downstream dam.
- Hydropower is domestic. Our supply of water is continually replenished through rain and snowmelt. We are not dependent upon foreign fuel supplies and their possible interruption.
- Providing an affordable and efficient source of energy.
- In the Northwest, electricity from hydropower typically costs $10 per megawatt hour to produce. This compares to $60, $45 and $25 per megawatt hour to produce electricity, respectively, at nuclear, coal and natural gas plants. To determine these price comparisons, planners calculate what it costs to build, maintain and operate these differing generation facilities.
- Hydropower also is more efficient than any other form of electrical generation. It is capable of converting 90 percent of available energy into electricity. The best fossil fuel plant is only about 50 percent efficient.
- Hydropower can easily respond to power needs by its ability to be turned on and off quickly. Other forms of electrical production, such as a coal power plant, require a great deal of time to start or stop producing electricity.
Northwest Federal Hydro Projects
Residents of the Northwest are fortunate to have a clean, renewable source of power that significantly contributes to the Northwest quality of life. Today, the Northwest relies on hydropower for about two-thirds of its electricity and 40 percent of all US hydropower comes from the Columbia and Snake rivers.
|Project||River - State||In Service||MW Rating|
|Albeni Falls||Pend Oreille - ID||1955||43|
|Anderson Ranch||Boise - ID||1950||40|
|Big Cliff||Santiam - OR||1953||18|
|Black Canyon||Payette - ID||1925||10|
|Boise River Diversion||Boise - ID||1912||3|
|Bonneville||Columbia - OR/WA||1938||1,077|
|Chandler||Yakima - WA||1956||12|
|Chief Joseph||Columbia - WA||1958||2,458|
|Cougar||McKenzie - OR||1963||25|
|Detroit||Santiam - OR||1953||100|
|Dexter||Willamette - OR||1954||15|
|Dworshak||Clearwater - ID||1973||400|
|Foster||Santiam - OR||1967||20|
|Grand Coulee||Columbia - WA||1942||* 6,809|
|Green Peter||Santiam - OR||1967||80|
|Green Springs||Emigrant Creek - OR||1960||16|
|Hills Creek||Willamette - OR||1962||30|
|Hungry Horse||Flathead - MT||1953||428|
|Ice Harbor||Snake - WA||1962||810|
|John Day||Columbia - OR/WA||1971||2,160|
|Libby||Kootenai - MT||1975||525|
|Little Goose||Snake - WA||1970||810|
|Lookout Point||Willamette - OR||1953||120|
|Lost Creek||Rogue - OR||1977||49|
|Lower Granite||Snake - WA||1975||810|
|Lower Monumental||Snake - WA||1969||810|
|McNary||Columbia - OR/WA||1952||980|
|Minidoka||Snake - ID||1909||28|
|Palisades||Snake - ID||1958||176|
|Roza||Yakima - WA||1958||11|
|The Dalles||Columbia - OR/WA||1957||1,808|
|Total (31 dams)||20,474|
US Army Corps of Engineers (21 dams)
Bureau of Reclamation (10 dams)
* Includes Pump Generation