State Map Priest Rapids: Columbia River, WA FWEE Member

Year Started: 1959
Location: Columbia River
Capacity: 955.6 MW
FWEE Member Website

Priest Rapids Dam is located on the Columbia River, 24 miles south of Vantage and 200 miles downstream from Grand Coulee Dam.

The dam was named in recognition of the Wanapum religious leader Smowhalla and the small band of indigenous people that lived during the winter at a village near the last of seven rapids, called Priest Rapids. A small group of the Wanapum continues to live alongside the tailrace of the dam.

Construction Start: July 1956
Power Generation Began: October 1959
General Construction Contract Cost: $91,880,625
Length: 10,103 feet
Maximum Height from Deepest Excavation Point: 178 feet
Spillway Length: 1,142 feet
Number of Tainter Gates: 22 (each gate is 40 feet X 50 feet)
Number of Turbines: 10
Horsepower of Each Turbine: 114,000

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