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 Hydropower at Oahe

Oahe Dam’s layout is unique in that the power house is on the left bank, the outlet works on the right bank, and the spillway is one mile beyond the outlet works.

The first of Oahe’s seven 85,000 Kilowatt generators was put into operation in March 1962.  On August 17, 1962, President John F. Kennedy spoke at Oahe’s ‘Power on the Line’ dedication ceremony. The final generator went into operation in June 1963, and the $340-million Oahe project was completed in 1964 ahead of schedule and under budget! Oahe’s generators were upgrade in the 1980s and are now capable of producing 112,290 Kilowatts each, for a total potential output of 786,000 Kilowatts. Oahe is the largest power producer on the Missouri River, producing 2.8 billion Kilowatts annually, which is enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 259,000 homes.

 Characteristics and Value

Characteristics and Value


7 Francis Turbines, 100 rpm

Nameplate Capacity

786 MW/112.3 MW each

Percent of NWO Capacity


Average Gross Head Available

174 ft

Number & size of conduits

7-24’ dia, imbedded penstocks

Surge Tanks

70’ dia, 2 per penstock

Discharge Capacity

185 feet at 54,000 cfs

Average Annual Energy

2,641 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