The five-year project will rehabilitate the dam’s 54-year-old turbines with a new stainless steel runner and other components designed to increase efficiency and power production.

The power plant, located on the downstream base of the dam on the west side of the river, has a generating capacity of 176.6MW or 44.15MW from each of the four units. The improvements will generate enough electricity to power an additional 35,000 homes.

USBR expects to see a 30% increase in the efficiency during the winter season and about a 3.8% increase in efficiency in summer. Once the project is completed, USBR will only need to run one generator instead of two to produce power during the winter season.

The overhaul is expected to be completed by May 2016.

Palisades Dam was constructed by USBR in 1957 as part of the Palisades Project. It is a multipurpose facility that provides irrigation, flood control, hydropower, and recreation.