Hydroelectric Resources

The PUD operates two small hydroelectric power plants on the Columbia River. These facilities provide clean, fish-friendly and renewable energy.

The Dalles North Fishway Hydroelectric Project

The Dalles Fishway PlantNorthern Wasco County PUD’s The Dalles North Fishway Hydroelectric Project produced its first commercial power on May 28, 1991. The 5-megawatt generator uses attraction water from The Dalles dam’s north fish ladder for power production. Water entering the plant is screened to prevent juvenile salmon or other small fish from entering the unit’s turbine.

The powerhouse has produced enough electricity to power about 4,000 average-sized homes per year. The power produced by The Dalles fishway plant currently is being sold to Portland General Electric. Revenues are used to offset PUD customers’ electric rates and keep them lower.

McNary Dam Washington Shore Fishway Project

McNary Fishway PlantThe McNary Dam hydroelectric project was completed and started production on October 17, 1997. The unit is located on the north-shore fish ladder at McNary Dam, near Umatilla, Oregon, and uses the fish ladder’s attraction water in the same way The Dalles project does.

The intake structure at McNary is located at the bottom of the dam and draws water from about 80 feet below the surface. The generator at McNary produces 10 megawatt’s of power, which is split equally with our partner, Klickitat County PUD. Northern Wasco’s portion of the power is transmitted to The Dalles and is used to serve utility customers.

The McNary plant generates enough electricity to serve about 3,800 averaged-size homes per year.