Clark Canyon Hydro seeks license for small project at federal dam in Montana

Clark Canyon Hydro LLC applied Sept. 28 to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a license for the 4.7-MW Clark Canyon Dam Hydroelectric Project to be located in Montana on the Beaverhead River.

The Flood Control Acts of 1944 and 1946 approved the construction of the Clark Canyon Dam as part of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s (BOR) Pick‐Sloan Missouri River Basin Program, East Bench Unit. The approximate 2,950 foot (ft) zoned, earth‐fill dam includes a concrete intake structure and conduit in the reservoir, shaft house at the crest of the dam, a 9‐ft‐diameter conduit that discharges water to a concrete stilling basin, a gate chamber with four high pressure gates, two of which act as emergency gates, and an uncontrolled concrete spillway.

Located near the town of Dillon in Beaverhead County, Montana, the Clark Canyon Dam is situated on the Beaverhead River. Uses for the water at the dam for authorized project purposes include irrigation, flood control, fish and wildlife, and municipal water. The East Bench Irrigation District carries out the operation and maintenance functions at the dam.

The reservoir at the same has a capacity of 253,442 acre-feet (ac ft) and an active capacity of 126,117 ac ft. The water surface area of the reservoir is 4,935 acres.

The dimensions of the planned powerhouse will be approximately 46 ft by 65 ft. The powerhouse will contain two vertical Francis-type turbine/generator units with a combined generating capacity of 4.7 MW, and a combined discharge capacity of 700 cubic feet per second (cfs). On average, the project will generate approximately 15.4 gigawatthours (GWh) per year.

The new transmission line will run from the powerhouse substation approximately 7.9 miles to the Peterson Flat substation and will be adjacent to and within sections of the Highway 324 right-of-way. The new line will consist of a single pole at a voltage of 69 kV with an average span distance of 428 ft, and 13 poles per mile on a proposed 80 foot corridor.

The proposed hydroelectric project will function in a “run-of-river” mode with no daily storage for power generation.

An applicant contact is: Alina Osorio, Aquila GP Inc., 55 University Avenue, Suite 201 Toronto, Ontario M5J 2H7, Phone: 416-340-1937,

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.