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The History of Shoshone Falls Dam
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 42° 35.619 W 114° 24.126
11T E 713146 N 4718963
Quick Description: History sign about the Shoshone Falls Dam.
Location: Idaho, United States
Date Posted: 7/10/2011 8:31:09 PM
Waymark Code: WMC0DY
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member IDIFers
Views: 7

Long Description:
One of a group of signs located on three closely spaced kiosks west of the main overlook parking area for Shoshone Falls.
Marker Name: The History of Shoshone Falls Dam

Marker Type: Roadside

Marker Text:
Shoshone Falls Hydroelectric Project In 1900, Ira B. Perrine began seeking investors for a hydroelectric plant at Shoshone Falls, ultimately forming the Shoshone Falls Power Company on March 9, 1904. In 1907, the site was sold to William S. Kuhn, and became the Great Shoshone and Twin Falls Water Power Company. The 500-kilowatt (kW) plant finally began generating power in August 1907. The early days of Idaho’s electricity business were chaotic and ultimately forced the company into economic failure in 1914. Idaho Power Company was formed in 1916 from its assets and those of several other companies. Idaho Power began a series of improvements at Shoshone Falls including expanding the powerhouse in 1921 to accommodate a 12,000-kilowatt generator. Expansion of the facility had its challenges. During the 1921 construction it is written: “The work at Shoshone Falls presents transportation problems. A ferry [60] feet long and [20] feet wide has been built. it is driven by side paddle wheels, and has a capacity of [40] tons. Some very expensive hard work makes it possible to deliver machinery, some weighing 20 tons, down the steep and winding hillside to a point directly above the powerhouse from which it must be let down by a large cable controlled by a powerful electric hoist.” A final dam structure was completed in 1927 to fully retain and redirect the river, making it possible to retain about 750 acre-feet of water to ensure a more constant volume for generation. As a run-of-river dam it has a small 1,500-acre storage reservoir that extends about two miles upstream. Water in excess of the plant’s 950 cubic feet per second (cfs) hydraulic capacity flow over the falls. Idaho Power serves residential, business and agricultural customers in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon, providing electricity in a 24,000 square-mile service area. Hydroelectic projects like this one provide about half of the company’s generation, while 40 to 45 percent comes from coal and natural gas-fired power plants. The remainder comes from wholesale market purchases. General Plant Information *Reservoir elevation: 3,354.5 feet above sea level *Acre feet in reservoir: 1,500 *Tailwater elevation: 3,136 feet mean sea level (msl) at the point where it intersects the riverbed *There are three generating units and four diversion dams, one gated and three fixed *All three dams are ungated and function as uncontrolled overflow spillways *About 1,000 cubic feet of water per second passes through the turbines *Shoshone Falls Power Plant annually averages about 90,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity each year, enough to supply approximately 9,000 households. Historically, the average annual residential electricity use per household is approximately 12.7 MWh. *Idaho Power’s hydroelectric system has a total generating capacity of 1,706,715 kilowatts. FERC Licensing The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Idaho Power a 30-year operational license for the Shoshone Falls Project August 4, 2004. The license contains Protection, Mitigation and Enhancement (PM&E) measures the Idaho Power is committed to implementing over the term of the new license. The license requirements include protection for federally listed threatened and endangered snail species near the project, minimum stream flows to benefit aquatic species, spring habitat enhancements, aesthetic flows, recreational facility enhancements, interpretive signage and protection measures for white sturgeon. Facts, Specs & Stats *The concrete diversion dam is about 800 feet long and averages about 16 feet high. Its four sections are separated by rock islands at the crest of the falls *The power plant has three generating units totaling 12.5 megawatts of installed capacity *At peak efficiency the total maximum output under ideal conditions is 12,500 kilowatts *Unit One was installed in the original 1907 project. Unit Two was added in 1909. *Unit Three was installed a


County: Twin Falls

City: Twin Falls

Group Responsible for Placement: City of Twin Falls

Date Dedicated: Not listed

Marker Number: Not listed

Web link(s) for additional information: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
In your log, please say if you learned something new, and if you took any extra time to explore the area once you stopped at the historic marker waymark. If possible please post a photo of you OR your GPS at the marker location. Also if you know of any additional links not already mentioned about this bit of Idaho history please include that in your log.

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The_Simpsons visited The History of Shoshone Falls Dam 11/30/2011 The_Simpsons visited it
Volcanoguy visited The History of Shoshone Falls Dam 9/23/2010 Volcanoguy visited it

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