The Boise River Diversion Dam, on the Boise River about 7 miles southeast of Boise, Idaho, is a rubble-concrete, weir-type structure with a hydraulic height of 39 feet. The dam diverts water into the New York Canal which serves distribution laterals and feeds Lake Lowell. A small canal known as the Penitentiary Canal, also originating at the diversion dam, distributes water on the north side of the Boise River to a small area of land east of Boise. The powerplant consists of three 500-kilowatt units that began operation in 1912. However, in 1983, the powerplant was placed in a "ready reserve" status due to the age of the generators and excessive maintenance costs. Due to the deteriorated condition of the equipment and high operating costs resulting from full-attended operation, the powerplant was placed in ready reserve status in 1982. The plant was reconstructed in 2002 to 2004 and returned to service in June, 2004. The nameplate rating for the plant was increased from the original 1500 kW to 3300 kW. The existing double turbine configuration was retained, but refurbished with new materials and technology. New modern generators were installed inside the original generator housings.