Rocky Reach Dam
Rocky Reach Dam
The project is located on the Columbia River on Highway 97A, seven miles north of Wenatchee. The visitor center shows films describing the Columbia River. The "Look a Salmon in the Eye" exhibit from (May–September) is a fish viewing room. The Powerhouse includes exhibits on the fourth floor. The Rocky Reach dam is near the Lincoln Rock State Park a short distance upriver.
In 1934 the United States Army Corps of Engineers first reported on the hydroelectric potential of this site. By the 1950s, studies were carried out by the Chelan County P.U.D. for detail design of the project. The present site is about a mile downstream of the site investigated by the Corps of Engineers, due to better conditions for foundations. A preliminary permit was issued in 1954. In 1956 construction of the powerhouse and the first seven generating units began. Four more generators were installed starting in 1969, increasing nameplate capacity to 1287 megawatts. The original project cost was US $273.1 million, financed by bonds sold by the PUD. Project costs included relocation of highways and railroad, land acquisition, and relocation of the town of Entiat. Repayment of bonds was through revenues from long-term sales contracts between Chelan County Public Utility District and local industrial and distribution customers. The facility has been re-licensed until 2052.
The powerhouse now has seven Westinghouse generators and four Allis-Chalmers generators. The turbines are adjustable-blade Kaplan type to allow for efficient production of energy at varying water levels. Water flows through each of the first seven turbines at a rate of 116 thousand gallons per second and 145 thousand gallons per second through each of the remaining four turbines.
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