The Idaho Water Resource Board (Board) is a water resource agency tasked with supporting the sustainable use and management of the state’s water and related resources. In addition to water resource planning, the Board can construct and operate water projects; issue bonds, without state obligation, to be repaid from revenues of projects; acquire real property for water projects; and generate and wholesale hydroelectric power. The Dworshak Small Hydropower Plant is owned by the Board and revenue from facility is used to support the Board’s water projects loan program which assists with the development of water resources of the state through construction, rehabilitation, improvement, or extension of existing systems.
Commissioned into service in June 2000, the Dworshak Small Hydropower Plant is located near the small community of Ahsahka, in central Idaho near the city of Orofino, and near the confluence of the Clearwater River and the North Fork of the Clearwater River. The facility is located approximately one mile downstream of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Dworshak Dam and is fed via 36- and 18-inch supply pipelines that extend downstream from the dam. The supply pipelines were originally constructed to deliver water to the Clearwater Fish Hatchery, which controls water flows from the dam, and the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery. The facility’s power generating capacity is 2.5 MW for the primary unit and 0.4 MW for the secondary unit. The generated power is sold to the Bonneville Power Administration while Clearwater Power Company wheels the power from the facility to the Bonneville Power Administration grid. Operation and maintenance of the facility is performed by a private contractor hired by the Board. All operations are coordinated with the fish hatcheries and other regulatory agencies as needed. The facility generates average annual revenue of $1.1M.
Clearwater Fish Hatchery
Dworshak National Fish Hatchery
Dworshak Dam and Reservoir