NW Hydro Multi-Purpose Dams
of the Pacific Northwest
To MAIN PAGE About BPA NW Hydro The Columbia River For Kids of all Ages Gallery There are fifty-five major hydroelectric projects located on the Columbia River and its tributaries. Thirty are federal dams owned an operated by the Corps of Engineers or Bureau of Reclamation. Twenty-five are non-federal installations owned by various public and private utilities. These (and smaller dams not shown) give the Pacific Northwest the largest hydroelectric system in the world.

Dam Spillway One of the principal tasks of these dams is power generation supplying low-cost electric power to the people and industries of the Pacific Northwest. As power producers, dams use the hydrologic cycle, a constantly renewable resource, to slow the rate of depletion of fossil fuels. Northwest hydropower is delivered over the transmission grid of the Bonneville Power Administration and the interconnected lines of non-federal utilities for distribution to the consumer or for sale directly to industry.
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