Diablo Dam

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Diablo Dam
Diablo Dam.jpg
Location Washington, United States
Opening date 1930
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Concrete arch-gravity[1]
Impounds Skagit River
Height 389 ft (119 m)[1]
Length 1,180 ft (360 m)[1]
Total capacity 88,500 acre·ft (109,200,000 m3)[1]
Catchment area 1,103 sq mi (2,860 km2)[1]
Surface area 990 acres (400 ha)[1]
Power station
Commission date 1936
Turbines 2x 64.5 MW[2]
Installed capacity 129 MW[2]
Annual generation 689,400,000 KWh[3]

Diablo Dam is one of three dams along the upper Skagit River in Whatcom County, Washington and part of the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project that supplies Seattle with a large proportion of its power needs. Work was begun in 1917 on a six-mile tunnel through Diablo Canyon and subsequent construction of a powerhouse. Work crews had to overcome extreme weather and mountain conditions, while Seattle City Light officials had to deal with politics and diplomacy. The dam was completed in 1930, and began generating electricity in 1936.[4]

The result was a power-generating dam that holds a reservoir known as Diablo Lake. At the time it was completed, Diablo Dam, at 389 feet, was the tallest dam in the world.[5] Water from the dam operates two main generators, each with a capacity of 64.5 MW.[2]

The dam was one of the places to help inspire a location in the video game Alan Wake.

Coordinates: 48°42′51″N 121°07′52″W / 48.7143°N 121.1312°W / 48.7143; -121.1312


180° panorama from the top of Diablo Dam, Diablo Lake, Washington as seen on an early September afternoon.