Reclamation releases environmental documents for Hungry Horse Powerplant Modernization

Media Contact: Lynne Brougher, (509) 633-9503, lbrougher@usbr.gov
Erika Lopez, (208) 378-5101, ealopez@usbr.gov

For Release: November 30, 2018

Aerial photo of Hungry Horse Dam.
Aerial photo of Hungry Horse Dam.
HUNGRY HORSE, Montana – The Bureau of Reclamation issued the final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the proposed Hungry Horse Powerplant (HHPP) Modernization and Overhaul Project. The powerplant is located at Hungry Horse Dam in Hungry Horse, Montana.

The 10-year project involves modernizing and overhauling the powerplant to provide electrical power generation for an additional 30 years, while maintaining operations for flood risk management and fisheries resources. Many of the powerplant components have reached or exceeded their intended service life. They show problems stemming from age-related wear that could potentially result in increased failures and longer forced outages, more challenging repairs due to obsolescence and unavailability of spare parts, and higher operation and maintenance costs.

The final EA analyzed three actions, including a preferred alternative:

• Alternative A - No Action Alternative: Reclamation continues to operate the four hydropower generating units with no planned powerplant overhaul. Maintenance and repair would be performed on an as-needed basis.

• Alternative B - HHPP Modernization - Two Generating Units Offline for Four Years: Work would be conducted on two generating units simultaneously for four years and single generating units for six years.

• Alternative C - HHPP Modernization - Two Generating Units Offline for One Year (Preferred Alternative): Work would be conducted on two generating units simultaneously for one year and individual generating units for nine years.

Reclamation selected Alternative C - HHPP Modernization as the preferred action. The final EA and FONSI were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available online at https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/montana/hungryhorse/index.html. For more information or to request a copy, please contact Ms. Pam Druliner, Natural Resource Specialist for the Bureau of Reclamation by email at pdruliner@usbr.gov.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/montana/hungryhorse/index.html