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Parker Powerplant

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Parker Dam
Parker-Davis Project
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Parker Powerplant Performance (pdf)
RegionFacilities in Lower Colorado | Lower Colorado Home Page
StateArizona and California
RiverColorado River
PurposeThe electrical integration and interconnection of Davis, Hoover, and Parker Powerplants provides maximum generation of power with efficient use of water resources. The highly developed agricultural base and the complex industrialization of the Pacific Southwest benefit greatly from Colorado River hydroelectric energy.
FactsThe Parker Powerplant includes a penstock gate structure, four penstock tunnels, and a powerplant building which houses four hydroelectric generating units. Each of the four tunnels and the penstocks conveying river water from the forebay at the left end of the dam to the turbines is 22 feet in diameter and has a water capacity of 5,575 cubic feet per second. Standing operating procedures specify a maximum flow of 22,000 cubic feet per second through the powerplant yielding a unit flow of 5,500 cubic feet per second. The units are rated at 80 feet of head. The powerplant is remotely operated from the Hoover Control Center.
HistoryParker Dam is a concrete arch structure with a volume of 380 thousand cubic yards of concrete. The dam is 320 feet high and 856 feet long at its crest. Parker Dam impounds Lake Havasu including a desilting basin and forebay from which the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California pumps water into its Colorado River Aqueduct. The Central Arizona Project also uses the forebay to pump Colorado River water into its canal system.
HistoryWith funds advanced by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Reclamation awarded contracts for the construction of Parker Dam and Powerplant beginning in 1939. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, by virtue of advancing the funds for constructing Parker Dam and Powerplant, enjoys a perpetual contract with Reclamation which provides that one-half of the powerplant¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿s output is available to be used for the pumping of water into the aqueduct.
Present ActivitiesThe Rehabilitation of unit #3 was completed in 2005.
Future Planned ActivitiesThe rehabilitation of Unit #1 is planned for 2007, Unit #2 rehabilitation is planned for 2009, and Unit #4 rehabilitation is planned for 2010. During 2010 we are also planning the installation of an automatic backup station power generator. This will include generator rewind turbine replacement and the addition of a solid-state excitation system. Partial Discharge equipment will be installed during the rehabilitation.
Special IssuesMaintaining reservoir elevation is critical for proper operation of pumping plants for the Central Arizona Project and the Colorado River Aqueduct. Elevations must be kept within 4-6 feet of the optimal pumping elevation.
Special IssuesDue to river conditions downstream, the tailrace limits total plant throughput to between 104,000 and 108,000 kw.
NERC RegionWestern Electricity Coordinating Council
PMA Service AreaWestern Area Power Administration, Desert Southwest Region
Plant TypeConventional
Powerhouse TypeAbove Ground
Turbine TypeFrancis
Original Nameplate Capacity120,000 kW
Installed Capacity120,000 kW
Year of Initial Operation1942
Age64 years
Net Generation453,807,380 kWh
(Fiscal Year)2007
Rated Head72 ft
Plant Factor43.3 percent
(Fiscal Year)2007
Production ModeIntermediate
Remotely OperatedYes
Project AuthorizationThe Parker-Davis Project was formed by consolidating the Parker Dam Power Project and the Davis Dam Project under the terms of the Act of May 28, 1954 (68 Stat. 143). The Parker Dam Power Project was authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of August 30, 1935 (49 Stat.1028).
Project PurposeLake Havasu, formed by Parker Dam, provides a forebay and desilting basin from which the Metropolitan Water District pumps water into its Colorado River Aqueduct and the Central Arizona Project pumps Colorado River water into its canal system. Parker Dam Powerplant was added to provide low-cost electrical energy to Arizona and southern California.
First nameJohn
Last nameSteffen
Phone (Fax)760 663-3212
Phone (Individual)760 663-3712

Last updated: Nov 19, 2009