Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake

Hydrpower - Sharing the Challenge


  Power dispatcher at Bonneville
  Power Administration's Dittmer
  Control Center

Working together

Hydropower operations at Corps of Engineers projects are a joint effort between the Corps and the regional offices of the Department of Energy (DOE). The Corps builds and operates the projects. The DOE's four
Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) market the power and deliver it to local utilities and other users. The PMAs also schedule the power generation to meet their customer's needs. This requires working closely with Corps water managers and powerplant operators to ensure that the available power is used most efficiently.

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA):
the Pacific Northwest states
Southeastern Power Administration (SEPA):
  the Southeastern states
Southwestern Power Administration (SWPA):
  the South Central States
Western Areas Power Administration (WAPA): the remaining western states

The Corps must also coordinate power operation with the projects' other purposes. Flood damage reduction, navigation, recreation, fish and wildlife, water quality, and water supply are some of the needs that must be considered. This involves working hand-in-hand with the many different government agencies and entities that are affected by or regulate Corps projects operation, such as the PMAs, US Environmental Protection Agency, National Marine Fisheries Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, etc.


Another pre-eminent government agency is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) which licenses non-Federal hydropower plants at Corps dams. The Corps works with the plant owners and FERC to make sure that powerplant design and operation are consistent with the primary purposes of the dams.


Learning More

To learn more about hydropower in the Corps of Engineers, go to the following website: or

write to:      

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attn:CEPA
411 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20314



 Little Goose Lock and Dam (WA)






Hydropower and its Value to the Nation (Other Links)

The information published on this website was compiled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: The Institute for Water Resources, in partnership with the Hydroelectric Design Center and the Hydropower Analysis Center.