At the request of Bonneville Power Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to commence Flexible Winter Power Operations and begin storing water in Lake Pend Oreille later this week to assist with downstream maintenance work.
Corps water managers had not anticipated implementing FWPO at Albeni Falls Dam this winter because of Riley Creek bank stabilization work. Recent warm conditions have thawed the access road however, and road-use restrictions are preventing additional work being completed this season.
The BPA request to store water at Albeni Falls Dam will help facilitate the Bureau of Reclamation’s drum gate maintenance at Grand Coulee Dam.
During Riley Creek bank stabilization work, the maximum elevation was 2,052 feet as measured at the Hope gauge. While the operating range for FWPO is from 2,051-2,056 feet, water managers are not targeting a specific elevation. Any water stored in the lake may be used for power generation later in the season.
Current outflow from Albeni Falls is 19,500 cfs. That rate will decrease over the week to accommodate BPA’s request. The Corps expects the lake to rise 1.5 to 2.5 feet above current elevation by the end of February.
The Corps operates Albeni Falls Dam as a multiple-purpose project, providing flood risk management, power generation, fish and wildlife conservation, navigation and recreation.
Release no. 17-007