Idaho Power’s commitment to green energy started with hydroelectric power, and we’ve relied on this clean, renewable energy resource since the company was founded in 1916.
Today we operate 17 hydroelectric projects located on the Snake River and its tributaries. Together, these hydroelectric facilities provide nearly half of Idaho Power's generation.
The backbone of our hydroelectric system is the Hells Canyon Complex (HCC) in the Hells Canyon reach of the Snake River.
The HCC consists of Brownlee, Oxbow and Hells Canyon dams and the associated generation facilities. In a normal water year, the three plants provide approximately 70 percent of Idaho Power’s annual hydroelectric generation and approximately 30 percent of the total energy generated.
Water storage in Brownlee Reservoir also enables the HCC projects to provide the major portion of Idaho Power’s peaking and load-following capability.
Idaho Power operates the HCC to comply with federal license agreements as well as managing for other interests, such as recreational use and environmental resources.
It's important to remember the availability and volume of hydroelectric power generated depends on several factors, like snowpack levels in the mountains, reservoir storage, water leases, water rights and other weather and stream flow considerations.
Find out how Idaho Power uses cloud seeding to increase mountain snowpack and in turn the amount of power we can generate through our hydroelectric power plants.
Learn more about our hydroelectric, natural-gas and coal-fired power plants.