Plans to construct a new third hydroelectric power plant at Black Canyon Diversion Dam in Idaho have been placed on hold due to a new business case analysis that shows construction costs are greater than the benefits of additional power generation.

“Early indications were this was a financially feasible project that would boost power generation by upgrading an existing Reclamation facility,” said David Denton, Project Manager. “But using current energy prices, it’s apparent that the project should be placed on hold until energy prices rebound.”

Although the third hydroelectric unit project is on hold, some construction will still take place at the facility over the next few years. Reclamation plans to move forward with the design and relocation of a new power switchyard and upgrades to control systems at the dam.

“The switchyard and control systems are a top priority because they pose a clear safety risk to employees and facility equipment,” said Roland Springer, Snake River Area Office Manager.

Black Canyon Diversion Dam is a multipurpose facility that provides water for irrigation, hydropower, and recreation. It was constructed by Reclamation in 1924 as part of the Payette Division of the Boise Project.