Idaho Power will join utilities across the country to recognize National Hydropower Day on Thursday, Aug. 24. The theme for this year’s campaign, “Hydropower is Key,” reflects the importance of Idaho’s oldest source of electricity when it comes to the emerging clean energy future.
With 17 hydroelectric plants on the Snake River and its tributaries, Idaho Power relies on hydropower to provide reliable, affordable, clean energy to more than 620,000 customers across southern Idaho and eastern Oregon.
That hydroelectric backbone is key for the company to move toward its goal of providing 100% clean energy by 2045; hydro’s reliability supports adding other renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, which depend on weather.
Many Idaho Power hydro projects have nearby parks, campgrounds and water recreation access sites. The company also has a geocaching program that provides a fun way to learn more about the hydropower system.
Some quick Idaho Power hydroelectric facts:
- The oldest hydro dam on the Snake River, at Swan Falls south of Boise, was built in 1901 and still generates electricity today.
- The three hydro plants that make up the Hells Canyon Complex – Brownlee, Oxbow and Hells Canyon dams – provide about 70% of the total hydroelectric output for the company.
- The Upper and Lower Malad projects each include two-way fish passage structures that enable trout and other native fish to move back and forth between the Snake and Malad rivers.