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Post Falls South Channel Dam Restoration Updates

Project Overview

Avista's Post Falls Hydroelectric Development (HED) has been generating clean, low-cost renewable energy for over 100 years. To ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of this historic facility, Avista restored and upgraded the dam located on the south channel of the Spokane River in Post Falls, Idaho. The work began in spring 2014 and the dam was operational on February 26, 2016.

Today, six new spill gates, frames and hoists, along with a new control building that houses a spillway control system and electrical distribution equipment allows the operation of the dam to be done at the push of a button. Prior to the upgrade, the gates were opened and closed manually. The upgrade also included removing one to two feet of the original 1906 concrete facing from the dam with new concrete added and new larger piers constructed. The new equipment will improve operational efficiencies allowing for increased flexibility in responding to changing hydro conditions and customer demand.

Watch the short time-lapse video that shows the process of taking an historical 1906 dam into the future for another 100 years.


View the South Channel Dam upgrade timeline description.

Post Falls HED

The Post Falls HED is a series of three structures on the Spokane River, nine miles downstream of Lake Coeur d'Alene in Post Falls, Idaho.

The powerhouse is located in the Middle Channel Dam, upgraded in 2012, produces 18 megawatts of clean, renewable energy - enough to power 13,500 homes.

The North Channel Dam, upgraded in 2004, and the South Channel Dam, upgrade completed in 2016, are non-generating structures that help control water levels of Coeur d'Alene Lake and part of the Coeur d'Alene, St. Joe and St. Maries rivers during the summer recreation season.

The HED also provides recreational opportunities including boating and swimming near Q'emiln Park.