Bringing Hydropower to Native Lands

image description Photo Credit: Amy the Nurse

Hydropower is the largest source of power in the nation. This clean, renewable source of power is generated from water flowing through dams and can provide our communities with a source of income and energy.

One example is the PGE & Warm Springs Water & Power Enterprises Pelton Round Butte Hydro Project, located in Warm Springs, OR.

Pelton Round Butte is the only hydroelectric project in the U.S. jointly owned by a Native American tribe and a utility. Currently, the project is two-thirds owned by Portland General Electric (PGE), headquartered in Portland, OR, and one-third owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, through its Warm Springs Power Enterprises.

The Pelton Round Butte project produces enough power annually to supply more than 137,000 homes in PGE’s service territory.

Fast Facts

  • Pelton Round Butte produces 1.5 billion kwh of power annually.
  • The Reregulating Dam powerhouse is wholly owned by the Tribe and generates an estimated $50 Million in annual revenue.
  • An estimated $90 Million was invested in the Round Butte Dam to ensure salmon and steelhead migration restoration.

Not every tribal community is located in an area where hydropower is a possible source for energy and revenue, but 5% of the nation’s natural resources are located on tribal lands, so there’s a chance wind, solar, or geothermal power could be a way to bring energy independence to your tribe.


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