June 27, 2002
Contact: Craig Sprankle
Generation Records Fall at Grand Coulee Dam
Just 10 days after setting a one-hour generation record of 5,969,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, hydroelectric units at Grand Coulee Dam pushed the bar even higher by producing 6,007,000 kilowatt hours on June 20, according to officials at the Bureau of Reclamation. This is enough electricity to serve more than 3.6 million homes.
High flows on the Columbia River coupled with electrical demand and a need to preserve empty flood control space in Lake Roosevelt, the reservoir behind Grand Coulee, have set up the scenario for setting these records, according to Power Manager David Lyngholm. “We have had the capacity available to help the Federal Columbia River Power System control flows and meet demands both caused by the warm temperatures,” said Lyngholm. “This current record could be exceeded if these conditions continue,” he added.
Lake Roosevelt, which had been drawn down for flood control, is currently in the summer operating range and Reclamation expects to operate the water level between 1,280 and 1,290 feet above sea level until August.
Grand Coulee is the nation’s largest hydroelectric dam, producing 20 billion kilowatt hours of power annually. The dam and Lake Roosevelt are also key parts of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Columbia Basin Project providing irrigation water to more than 600,000 acres of agricultural land in central Washington.