Pelton Dam

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Pelton Dam

Pelton Dam is a major dam on the Deschutes River in Jefferson County, Oregon, owned and operated as a hydroelectric facility by Portland General Electric, one element of its Pelton Round Butte Project on the Deschutes.

The concrete arch dam at Pelton dates from 1958, has a height of 204 feet from bedrock, a width of 965 feet at its crest, and generates 110 megawatts of electricity.[1]

Upstream, to the south, Pelton Dam impounds the waters of the Deschutes to create the deep Lake Simtustus in a relatively narrow canyon about seven miles back to the 1964 Round Butte Dam. The lake has a surface area of about 540 acres and holds 33,190 acre-feet. The name "Simtustus" honors a native who scouted for the U.S. Army during the 1867-68 campaign against the Paiutes.[2]

Downstream, to the north, a regulating dam two and half miles controls the river flow. The area between is called the Pelton Regulating Reservoir. In 1982 the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs installed a hydroelectric turbine unit in the regulating dam for additional power.[3] Between 2000 and 2005 the CTWS also asserted itself as a stakeholder in the project's re-licensing negotiations between Portland General Electric and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, winning key environmental, cultural, and water rights concessions.[4]


Coordinates: 44°41′39″N 121°13′51″W / 44.69419°N 121.23096°W / 44.69419; -121.23096