Wells Dam is located at river mile 515.6 on the Columbia River in the state of
Washington. This location is approximately 30 river miles downstream from Chief
Joseph Dam, owned and operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and
42 miles upstream from Rocky Reach Dam, owned and operated by Chelan County PUD.
The nearest town is Pateros, Washington, which is located approximately 8 miles
upstream from Wells Dam. The Wells Project is the primary generating resource
for Douglas PUD. It includes ten generating units with an installed nameplate
capacity of 774,300 kW (774.3 MW) and a peaking capacity of approximately 840
MW. The design of the Wells Project is unique in that the generating units,
spillways, switchyard and fish passage facilities are combined into a single
structure referred to as the hydrocombine.
Construction of the project began in the fall
of 1963 and commercial operation began on September 1, 1967. The initial design
and license for the project called for the construction of seven turbine
generating units. On February 2, 1965, the Federal Power Commission (predecessor to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission FERC) approved an application to amend
the original license to include three additional generating units. The three
additional units began commercial operation on January 24, 1969.
In 1963, Douglas PUD entered into power sales contracts
with four power purchasers to sell 62% of the output from the Wells Project
through August 31, 2018 at cost. These purchasers are Puget Sound Energy, Inc.
(31.3%), Portland General Electric Company (20.3%), PacifiCorp (6.9%), and
Avista Corporation (3.5%). Douglas PUD also entered into a power sales contract
with Okanogan PUD in 1963 for up to 8% of Wells Project output from Douglas
PUD’s share through August 31, 2018. Additionally, Douglas PUD entered into a
Settlement Agreement and a Power Sales Contract with the Confederated Tribes of
the Colville Reservation on November 1, 2004 which FERC approved on February 11,
2005. Based on the terms of the Power Sales Contract, the tribe is entitled to
purchase 4.5% of the Wells Project output through August 31, 2018 and 5.5% of
the Wells Project output beginning September 1, 2018. The 4.5% of Wells Project
output through August 31, 2018 proportionally reduces power available to the
four power purchasers, Douglas PUD and Okanogan PUD.