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Flaming Gorge Powerplant

Photo of Flaming Gorge Powerplant Powerplant
Related Projects & Facilities
Flaming Gorge Dam
Colorado River Storage Project
Related Documents
Flaming Gorge Powerplant Performance (pdf)
RegionFacilities in Upper Colorado | Upper Colorado Home Page
RiverGreen River
PurposeAs the Flaming Gorge Dam is on a major tributary to the Colorado River, it was constructed for long-term storage of water and controlled releases to meet downstream commitments. The powerplant`s purpose is to use this stored water for the economical generation of electricity and provide the revenue for repayment of the project.
FactsThe Flaming Gorge Powerplant has three 10-foot-diameter penstock pipes near the center of the dam which convey water to the powerplant. The powerplant is at the downstream toe of the dam and houses three 50,650-kilowatt generators driven by three 50,000-horsepower Francis-type turbines.
HistoryConstruction was authorized on April 11, 1956, and construction began in 1958 with road building, a diversion tunnel, and other preparatory work. The first unit went on the line September 27, 1963, and the third and final unit in February 1964. The Flaming Gorge Reservoir first filled in August 1974 at elevation 6,040 with 3,749,000 acre feet of live storage. The plant was automated in 1973 and 1974 and was then controlled by the Colorado River Storage Project Dispatch Center located in Montrose, Colorado. Selective withdrawal structures were installed on the turbine penstock intakes during the winters of 1977 and 1978 to provide temperature control of the water released down the Green River to improve fishery habitat. A temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit can be maintained from mid-June into October. On August 11, 1977, the Unit 2 turbine seized up when the lower seal ring failed. This incident lead to the replacement of seal rings on all three units. The newly designed and installed seal rings also failed and were again replaced on each unit. Generator uprates began in August 1990 and were completed in April 1992. The generators were uprated from 36,000 kW to 50,650 kW.
HistoryThree unit transformers were replaced in 2002 and 2003.
Present ActivitiesOn February 16, 2006, the Regional Director of Reclamation¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿s Upper Colorado Region signed a Record of Decision (Flaming Gorge ROD) for the Operation of Flaming Gorge Dam Final Environmental Impact Statement. The Flaming Gorge ROD adopted the Action Alternative as the Federal Action to modify the operation of Flaming Gorge Dam. Flaming Gorge upgraded the turbines in each of its three generating units beginning with Unit 3 in October of 2005 and finishing with Unit 1 in April of 2008. The upgraded turbines provided an efficiency increase of 4 to 6 percent.
Future Planned ActivitiesNone
Special IssuesPrivatization of the community of Dutch John, the residential facility built to support the construction and operation of the Flaming Gorge Dam and Power plant, has been completed. It should be noted that Flaming Gorge?s net generation, unit availability, and scheduled outages reflect the unit uprates, which took place in 1990 through 1992. Data for fiscal year 1991 is most affected, because two units were down during that year.
NERC RegionWestern Electricity Coordinating Council, Rocky Mountain Power Area
PMA Service AreaWestern Area Power Administration, Colorado River Storage Project Management Center
Plant TypeConventional
Powerhouse TypeAbove Ground
Turbine TypeFrancis
Original Nameplate Capacity108,000 kW
Installed Capacity151,950 kW
Year of Initial Operation1963
Age44 years
Net Generation292,808,883 kWh
(Fiscal Year)2007
Rated Head400 ft
Plant Factor22.2 percent (annual)
(Fiscal Year)2007
Production ModeIntermediate
Remotely OperatedYes
Project AuthorizationThe Congress authorized construction of four storage units in the Colorado River Storage Project and 11 participating projects on April 11, 1956 under Public Law 485, 84th Congress, 70 Stat. 105. Additional projects have been added since the original legislation was adopted.
Project PurposeThe Colorado River Storage Project provides for the comprehensive development of the Upper Colorado River Basin. The project furnishes the long-time regulatory storage needed to permit States in the upper basin to meet their flow obligation at Lees Ferry, Arizona, (as defined in the Colorado River Compact) and still use their apportioned water.
First nameSteven
Last nameHulet
Phone (Fax)435 885-3224
Phone (Individual)435 885-3231

Last updated: May 13, 2009