Construction of the power plant was completed in 1947. The plant, which was originally built to be a temporary plant, was rewound in 1992.
The Secretary of the Interior authorized the project on February 10, 1904, under authority of the Reclamation Act of June 17, 1902. The Secretary authorized Heart Mountain power development on June 19, 1945, under the provisions of the Reclamation Project Act of 1939.
Floodwaters of the Shoshone River are stored in Buffalo Bill Reservoir for later release for irrigation and power generation. Power is developed at the Shoshone, Heart Mountain, Buffalo Bill, and Spirit Mountain Power plants. The system is interconnected with the West Division of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program.
Power produced at the Heart Mountain Power Plant is fed into a grid system which serves an area extending into three States. The Heart Mountain Power Plant is at the outlet of Shoshone Canyon Conduit about 4 miles southwest of Cody, Wyoming. The capacity of the plant is 5,000 kilowatts. As a result of the modification of Buffalo Bill Dam, Buffalo Bill and Shoshone power plants were completed in 1992. Due to the Revised Instream Flow Agreement associated with the reconstruction of the dam, winter releases previously discharged from Heart Mountain Power Plant are now made through these two upstream power plants. As a result, Heart Mountain Power Plant has been operated on a seasonal basis since 1992. Construction of the power plant was completed in 1947. The plant, which was originally built to be a temporary plant, was rewound in 1992. In FY 2001 a supply contract for furnishing and installing replacement bushings for the three single-phase power transformers was unsuccessfully advertised. Due to excessive bid costs, a decision was made to cancel this procurement action and replace the transformer in FY 2004. Designs and specifications were initiated in FY 2002 and were completed in FY 2003 for this work. The contract was awarded in FY 2003 for installation of a new 3-phase transformer, modification of existing bus work and installation of new power cables in FY 2004. Preparation of designs and specifications for a contract to replace the generating unit voltage regulator was initiated in FY 2002. The contract was issued and awarded in FY 2003 for installation in FY 2004. Preparation of designs and specifications for a contract to replace the power plant switchgear was initiated in FY 2002. The contract will be issued and awarded in FY 2004 for installation in FY 2004. A replacement wicket gate greasing system was designed in FY 2004 and the new system will be installed in FY 2005. Shoshone Canyon Conduit water restrictions, coupled with chronic oil leak and thrust bearing problems after the rewind reassembly, accounted for high production costs for FY-1994. The fractured and soluble nature of the rocks which form the free flow section of the Shoshone Canyon Conduit has resulted in significant maintenance expenses which are assigned to Heart Mountain Power Plant. A congressional budget write-in during FY-1996 resulted in a $600,000 obligation during that fiscal year for Reclamation's share of the costs associated with repairs to the conduit. Expenditure of these funds was accomplished over a 5-year period.