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Subject:   Power, People and Progress Highlight Boundary Dam's 40th Anniversary
For Immediate Release:   
9/12/2007  2:15:00 PM
For More Information Contact:


Power, People and Progress Highlight Boundary Dam's 40th Anniversary
Facility Provides Half of Seattle City Light's Electricity


SEATTLE - Seattle City Light is celebrating Boundary Dams 40 years of low-cost, clean, renewable energy production with an anniversary celebration Sept. 19-20.

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco will join local officials at the dam near Metalline Falls in northeastern Washington to celebrate Boundarys anniversary. The event celebrates the importance of the dam to the local economies on both sides of the state.

Boundary Dam is the hidden jewel for Seattle City Light, Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said. Throughout its 40 years of operation, the dam has provided good jobs, tourism and recreation for Pend Oreille County and low-cost, renewable energy for Seattle. Thats a partnership we look forward to continuing for another 40 years and beyond.

In Western Washington, Seattle City Lights customers receive half their electricity from the double-, thin-arch dam on the Pend Oreille River 107 miles north of Spokane. The amount of power generated is dependent on river flows.

The dam is one of the largest employers in Pend Oreille County. It attracts hundreds of visitors for tours each month and provides recreation opportunities amid stunning vistas for countless others. Seattle City Light contributes to the local economy in many ways, including an annual impact payment to the county that amounted to $1.2 million for 2007.

Construction on Boundary Dam started in 1963 and took the 1,300 workers four years to complete. By the time the project was completed, 195,000 cubic yards of limestone had been carved from the canyon to make room for the worlds largest underground powerhouse. And 1 million cubic yards of rock was removed to make way for the forebay, which is the area of the reservoir above the dam leading to the intake tunnels. Workers poured 120,000 cubic yards of concrete to build the day and 20,000 more cubic yards of concrete for the spillways.

Boundary Dam cost $94 million to build. If the same project were to be built today, the inflation-adjusted cost would be $564 million.

Schedule of events:
Wednesday, Sept. 19 -
Public officials reception hosted by Mayor Nickels and Superintendent Carrasco.

Thursday, Sept. 20 -
10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tours and refreshments.
10:30 a.m., Dedication of memorial plaque to those that sacrificed their lives during the construction and operation of Boundary Dam by Mayor Nickels.
11:00 a.m., Behind-the-scenes tours and refreshments

Quick Facts About Boundary Dam:
  • Height: 340 feet above bedrock
  • Usable reservoir storage: 43,000 acre feet
  • Maximum spillway capacity: 108,000 cubic feet per second
  • Number of turbines: Six
  • Generating capacity: 1,040 Megawatts
  • Used in the filming of The Postman, starring Kevin Costner
  • The Pend Oreille River flows north into Canada then returns south into Washington near Northport and eventually joins the Columbia River.




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Seattle City Light is a publicly owned utility dedicated to exceeding our customers' expectations in producing and delivering low cost, reliable power in an environmentally responsible and safe way. We are committed to delivering the best customer service experience of any utility in the nation.

Seattle City Light
 

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