Apple Gate

Shoshone Dam and Power Plant

Publication Date: 
September, 2013

 The construction of the Shoshone Dam and Power Plant began in 1904, and the hydro power plant started operating in 1909. The Shoshone Dam diverts water through a tunnel to the Shoshone power plant, which is located two miles downstream on the Colorado River adjacent to Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon. The Shoshone Power Plant depends upon river flows rather than stored water from a reservoir for its operations. The plant has two units capable of producing up to 15 Mega Watts of electricity. The water right for the Shoshone Power Plant has historically not been met during the winter months unless Xcel Power Company places a river call to curtail upstream diversions by junior storage water rights. This large non-consumptive diversion (1,250 cubic feet per second) is the controlling water right upstream of Glenwood Canyon and is key in the administration of water on the Colorado River.