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PPL Montana - Producing Power

Holter Dam
Generating capacity: 48 megawatts
1390 Holter Dam Road
P.O. Box 108
Wolf Creek, MT 59648

Holter Dam is a four-unit hydroelectric plant on the Missouri River, about 43 miles northeast of Helena, Mont. The units have a total generating capacity of 48 megawatts. (One megawatt can satisfy the average energy needs of 750 households.)

Holter Dam, which began operation in 1918, is 1,364 feet long and 124 feet high. Its reservoir is 27 miles long and has a storage capacity of 240,000 acre-feet. 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.

Holter Dam is one of eight hydroelectric plants and one reservoir along the Missouri and Madison Rivers covered under PPL Montana’s Project 2188 operating license. Through this license, PPL Montana works with state and federal agencies and private groups to implement a diverse array of environmental stewardship projects to protect habitats on or near the banks of the Missouri and Madison rivers.

Holter Reservoir is a popular site for recreational activities such as boating, fishing, hiking and camping. Numerous campgrounds dot the river above and below the dam. PPL Montana’s Hauser Dam, located 29 miles upstream, offers additional recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

In 2000, PPL Montana contributed $100,000 toward the development of Beartooth Landing Campground, a boat-in-only site on Holter Reservoir. Several years later, PPL Montana contributed $100,000 toward the design and development of handicap-accessible facilities at the Holter Lake campground.

PPL Montana’s other financial contributions at Holter Dam include a $5,000 contribution in 2002 to develop the portage facilities at the left side of the dam, and a $1 million contribution in 2005 toward the design and redevelopment of the Holter Dam campground, as well as the construction of an off-site RV dump station, to be operated by a commercial vendor.


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