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 Hydropower at Gavins Point

The dam and power plant along with their associated facilities were completed in 1957 at a cost of $51 million.

Water released from the five upstream dams is used at Gavins Point for production of hydroelectric power. Gavins Point generators provide enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 68,000 homes. Controlled releases from the dam enhance navigation and minimize erosion on the Missouri River to St. Louis, Missouri.

Gavins Point Dam, along with Lewis and Clarke Lake, provide $61 million in benefits to the public annually. The stretch of Missouri immediately downstream the dam is the only significant section of non-channelized meandering stream on the lower portion of the river.

While most of the Missouri River plants are used for peaking or semi-peaking purposes, which means they generate more energy during the hours of highest demand, Gavins Point Dam is the only dam consistently used for baseload production, which means the plant provides a continuous energy supply.

 Characteristics and Value

Characteristics and Value


3- Variable Pitch, Kaplan Turbines, 75 rpm

Nameplate Capacity

132.3 MW/44.1 MW each

Percent of NWO Capacity


Average Gross Head

48 feet

Number & size of conduits

None: direct intake

Surge Tanks


Discharge Capacity

48 feet at 36,000 cfs

Average annual energy

726 M kWh

Hydropower Master Plan

The Omaha District has prepared a Hydropower Master Plan outlining the future requirements for sustaining our hydropower mission capability. A strategic master plan will guide future programming and funding for all hydropower sustainment, rehabilitation, and modernization requirements in a way that provides predictable funding and maximizes efficiencies to ensure the long-term resilience and reliability of this critical national infrastructure.

Hydropower Master Plan Book Cover