PPL Montana representatives and guests gathered on Tuesday (8/2) at the White Sandy Recreation Site to celebrate 100 years of clean, renewable energy generation at Hauser Dam and the facility’s award under the federal Voluntary Protection Program.
“Today we not only celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Hauser hydroelectric plant but also its designation as one of the safest industrial sites in the country,” said Pete Simonich, vice president and chief operating officer for PPL Montana.
“Along with commemorating the history and resources of Hauser Dam, it’s also a privilege for me to congratulate the employees who operate and maintain this facility on achieving ‘Star’ certification under the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program,” he said. “Earning Star certification is all about the dedication and values of the PPL Montana employees who keep our power plants running smoothly and in step with 21st century safety standards.”
With the addition of Hauser Dam, there are now seven PPL Montana VPP Star sites in Montana: the Colstrip, Corette, Holter, Kerr, Madison and Thompson Falls power plants.
Simonich said Hauser Dam and the lands around it are much different than when Samuel Hauser, one of Montana’s early industrialists and the seventh governor of the Montana Territory, first came to the area. The first Hauser Dam gave way to the power of the Missouri River in 1908, and the new facility, rebuilt with concrete, went into operation in 1911.
Today, the Hauser hydroelectric plant can produce 19 megawatts of clean, renewable energy for homes and businesses. That’s enough energy to power 14,250 households.
“As a company made up of people who grew up in Big Sky Country and love the outdoors, PPL Montana is proud to have supported a variety of recreational improvements at Hauser, including the redevelopment of White Sandy Beach and the expansion of the dam’s causeway and access site,” Simonich said. “As part of our commitment to our communities and outdoor recreation, PPL Montana continues to provide $50,000 a year for the operation and maintenance of recreational sites here at Hauser Dam.”
Hauser Dam, a six-unit hydroelectric plant on the Missouri River about 14 miles northeast of Helena, is 720 feet long and 111 feet high. Its reservoir is 14 miles long and has a storage capacity of 64,253 acre-feet when combined with nearby Lake Helena’s usable storage capacity. The dam is classified as a “run-of-river” project because it can generate electricity using the water that flows down the river, without the need to store additional water supplies.
PPL Montana provides safe, reliable energy from coal-fired power plants at Colstrip and Billings, as well as 11 hydroelectric plants along West Rosebud Creek and the Missouri, Madison, Clark Fork and Flathead rivers. It has a combined generating capacity of more than 1,200 megawatts and has offices in Billings, Butte and Helena. PPL Montana and its 500 employees are dedicated to Montana and its communities, supporting educational, environmental and economic development programs across the state. PPL EnergyPlus operates a trading floor in Butte that markets and sells power for PPL Montana in wholesale and retail energy markets throughout the western United States. PPL Montana and PPL EnergyPlus are subsidiaries of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL).