PPL Montana has begun a temporary drawdown of water levels on the Missouri River between its Black Eagle and Rainbow hydroelectric plants to allow for safe maintenance work at the Rainbow facility.
The plan is to lower the elevation two to three feet from the normal elevation of 3,224 feet above sea level, said David Hoffman, director of external affairs for PPL Montana. He said the drawdown is needed so workers can safely perform maintenance at the Rainbow hydroelectric plant.
The drawdown will not affect recreation, but the public will notice some exposed sand bars along the river banks as a result of the temporary drawdown, he said.
“Once the work is complete, we will quickly return the reservoir to normal levels.” Hoffman said.
PPL Montana has notified Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and other agency partners about the drawdown.
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).