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McPhee Powerplant *


Related Projects & Facilities
Dolores Project
McPhee Dam
Related Documents
McPhee Powerplant Performance (pdf)

* Plant owned by Reclamation but operated by a separate entity. Generation is marketed by the Western Area Power Administration, a Federal Power Marketing Administration.


RegionFacilities in Upper Colorado | Upper Colorado Home Page
RiverDolores River
PurposeMcPhee Powerplant provides energy for project use.
FactsMcPhee Dam is a rolled earth, sand, gravel, and rockfill structure with a volume of approximately 5,029,000 cubic yards. The crest of the dam is 270 feet above streambed, 1,300 feet long and 30 feet wide. A gated spillway located in the right abutment includes a concrete chute leading to a stilling basin.
FactsThe McPhee Dam Powerplant consists of a penstock located within the outlet tunnel of the dam, two turbines and a generator at the base of the dam, and a 4.5-mile, 12.5-kilovolt transmission line to Great Cut Switchyard.
HistoryThe powerplant is operated and maintained under a contract with the Dolores Water Conservancy District. The powerplant was out of service from September 1994 to January 1997 due to a turbine problem.
Present ActivitiesNormal operations
Special IssuesShutdown in May 2002 through the rest of the water year due to lack of water.
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 Capacity1,283 kW
Installed Capacity1,283 kW
Year of Initial Operation1993
Age14 years
Net Generation5,334,939 kWh
(Fiscal Year)2007
Rated Head215 ft
Plant Factor47.5 percent
(Fiscal Year)2007
Production ModePeaking
Remotely OperatedYes
Project AuthorizationThe Congress authorized the Dolores Project under the Colorado River Basin Act of September 30, 1968 (Public Law 90-537), as a participating project under the Colorado River Storage Project Act of April 11, 1956 (Public Law 84-485).
Project PurposeThe Dolores Project, located in the Dolores and San Juan River Basins in southwestern Colorado, develops water from the Dolores River for irrigation, municipal and industrial use, recreation, fish and wildlife, and production of hydroelectric power. It also provides flood control and aids economic redevelopment.
Project PurposePowerplants are located on McPhee Dam and the Towaoc Canal to generate an annual average of 36,578,000 kilowatt-hours, which enters the Colorado River Storage Project power transmission system. The McPhee Dam facility operates year-round on fishery releases from McPhee Reservoir.
First nameVern
Last nameHarrell
Phone (Individual)970 565-0865

Last updated: Dec 16, 2013