Wells Dam

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Wells Dam
LocationChelan / Douglas counties, Washington
Coordinates47°56′43.44″N 119°51′57.6″W / 47.9454000°N 119.866000°W / 47.9454000; -119.866000Coordinates: 47°56′43.44″N 119°51′57.6″W / 47.9454000°N 119.866000°W / 47.9454000; -119.866000
Opening dateAugust 22, 1967
Operator(s)Douglas County Public Utility District
Dam and spillways
ImpoundsColumbia River
CreatesLake Pateros
Total capacity331,200 acre⋅ft (0.4085 km3)
Power Station
Turbines10 [1]
Installed capacity851.4 MW [1]

Wells Dam is a hydroelectric dam located on the Columbia River, downstream from the confluence of the Okanogan River, Methow River, and the Columbia River in Washington state. The dam, associated structures, and machinery make up the Wells Hydroelectric Project. It is owned and operated by Douglas County Public Utility District.

The yellow cranes and other equipment are part of Wells Dam
Aerial view

It has produced electricity since August 22, 1967. Its operating license from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is next up for renewal in 2052.[2] In addition to the two public utility districts, the project provides electricity to Puget Sound Energy, Portland General Electric, PacifiCorp, Avista Corporation, and the Colville Indian Tribe.[3]

Its reservoir is named Lake Pateros. Just below and adjacent is Carpenter Island boat launch and fish hatchery river access. Lake Pateros is not deep but a high volume of water moves through it. Thus, low-head, high-volume Kaplan turbine runners drive generation.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory". U.S. Energy Information Administration. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  2. ^ Christine Pratt (2013-05-30). "Wells Dam gets new 40-year license". The Wenatchee World. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  3. ^ "Northwest Hydropower News – Archives 2010 & Older". Foundation for Water & Energy Education. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  4. ^ "Wells Dam Rehabilitation Project". Toshiba America Energy Systems Corp. Retrieved May 31, 2018.