Palisades Powerplant serves large irrigation pumping power requirements on and near the Minidoka Project in southern Idaho. Palisades Dam is a large zoned earthfill structure 270 feet high, has a crest length of 2,100 feet, and contains 13,571,000 cubic yards of material. At the time of construction, this was the largest volume of material placed in a dam by Reclamation. The powerplant and outlet works are fed by separate 26-foot diameter tunnels through the left abutment. The Palisades Powerplant has four generators, and an original hydraulic capacity of 8,000 cubic feet per second. The spillway is a 28-foot diameter tunnel through the left abutment, with a capacity of 48,500 cubic feet per second. The powerplant serves large irrigation pumping power requirements on and near the Minidoka Project in Southern Idaho. Energy in excess of project uses is marketed by BPA. Palisades Powerplant was transferred to the Minidoka Project Office (now Snake River Area Office - East) for operations and maintenance soon after construction.
The Palisades Project is a multiple-purpose development involving irrigation, power, flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife conservation. Palisades Dam is on the Snake River at Calamity Point in eastern Idaho about 18 miles west of the Idaho-Wyoming boundary. The project provides a supplemental water supply to about 670,000 acres of irrigated land in the Minidoka and Michaud Flats Projects. The 176,564-kilowatt hydroelectric powerplant furnishes energy needed in the upper valley to serve irrigation pumping units, municipalities, rural cooperatives, and other power users.
The project, in addition to providing needed holdover storage, helps control floods, develops a substantial block of power, and permits the annual storage of about 135,000 acre-feet of water saved by shutting off canals in the upper valley during the winter. This water is stored to the credit of and delivered to the water users who make the savings possible.
Oil filled 115 kV switchyard circuit breakers were replaced with SF6 breakers in 2003, 12.5/115 kV transformer was replaced in 2003, and unit protective relays were replaced in 2002-2003. Also in 2003, line relays and Units 2 and 3 thrust bearing oil coolers were replaced and the unit vibration monitoring system was installed. In addition numerous security enhancements were completed in 2003. Palisades has been operating under drought conditions since 2001 affecting net generation.
Future Planned Activities
Complete replacement of unit trust bearing oil coolers in 2004, replace iso phase bus system on Units 1 and 3 in 2004, and replace Powerplant roof in 2004-2005.
The Secretary of the Interior initially authorized the Palisades Project on December 9, 1941, under the provisions of Section 9 of the Reclamation Project Act of 1939 (53 Stat. 1187). The Congress reauthorized the Palisades Project on September 30, 1950 (Public Law 864, 81st Congress), in accordance with a supplemental report approved by the Secretary of the Interior in 1949.
Western Electricity Coordinating Council, Northwest Power Pool Area