Clackamas Hydro Projects
Over seven decades starting in the early 1900s, PGE constructed four hydroelectric plants on the Clackamas River: Faraday, River Mill, Oak Grove and North Fork. Today they provide enough energy to power up to 78,000 homes.
Hydropower is a renewable, emissions-free and local source of energy, drawing from the natural power of the regional water cycle to provide electricity to Oregon. On the Clackamas, our hydro facilities create reservoirs that provide recreational opportunities in addition to sustainable energy.
River Mill began generating power in 1911. An Ambursen dam, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places and generates enough power for more than 10,000 homes.
Our first dam on the Clackamas, Faraday began operation in 1907 as the Cazadero Dam. It was rebuilt after damage from a 1964 flood. This dam diverts water to Faraday Lake and through the Faraday powerhouse, generating enough electricity to power more than 17,000 homes.
In operation since 1958, the North Fork facility generates enough electricity to power nearly 20,000 homes. PGE also uses the dam to control flow downriver to North Fork, Faraday and River Mill.
The Oak Grove powerhouse, in operation since 1924, is PGE’s most efficient hydro facility. A sharp drop in elevation means water flows into the powerhouse at very fast speed, generating enough electricity to power more than 24,000 homes.
In 1956, Timothy Lake was created to provide additional storage. In the summer months, the lake is maintained full to provide recreation opportunities. During the rest of the year, the lake is managed to capture rain and snow melt for peak operation of the Oak Grove plant.
Timothy Lake has kokanee, eastern brook, rainbow and cutthroat trout. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks the lake with rainbows throughout the summer. The lake is also host to a number of PGE-owned, public parks and campgrounds.