Packwood Lake Hydro Project
The Packwood Lake Hydro Project is a hydroelectric project owned and operated by Energy Northwest. Completed in 1964 the project was the first project built by a group of public power utilities that later became Energy Northwest.
Water from the lake enters a concrete intake structure located approximately 424 feet downstream from the lake outlet. The structure feeds water into a six-foot diameter underground pipe that carries water five miles while dropping 1,800 feet in elevation before delivering water to the powerhouse near the town of Packwood. Water reaches the powerhouse with approximately 780 psi (pounds per square inch) of pressure at the turbine. The water spins the turbine generator at 360 rpm (revolutions per minute) producing up to 27.5 megawatts of electricity. After passing through the turbine, water is discharged to the Cowlitz River through a 6,670-foot tailrace canal. A fish screen at the entrance to the Cowlitz River prevents migrating fish from entering the Packwood facility.
Under the terms of a contract between the District and Energy Northwest, the District receives a three percent share of the production capability of the Packwood Project (equating to approximately 0.3 average MW).