Hydropower Projects

Hydropower is derived from the energy of falling water and running water, which may be harnessed for useful purposes. Since ancient times, hydropower has supported irrigation and the operation of devices that provide power for sawmills and textile mills. 

Handy Hydropower Summaries

Welcome to the growing library of hydropower license and summary settlement provisions!

The process of applying for a license or a license renewal every 30-50 years is complex, and the process results in license documents that are lengthy (often 150- 200 pages) cumbersome, and often tough to interpret.  RMS has embarked on a project to make it easy to locate and learn how hydropower operations on your river may impact you, and your community! 

Summary of the Process

The Hydropower Reform Coalition and the River Management Society team identifies hydropower licenses completed recently (within the last ten years) of varying complexity and in a variety of geographic locations.  The full decision documents are distilled to highlight the topics of greatest interest to interested members of the public, acknowledge members of stakeholders who are signatories to settlements, and important plans and provisions affecting public use and access to the river. 'Hydro' projects stakeholders include utility company planners, river managers and planners, river conservation and recreation advocates, and municipal leaders and planners. 

These summaries are GREAT to know about when you want to find how the license affects access and use, quickly!  If you know about a hydropower dam whose license has been completed recently and would like us to work on handy summary for that project, email RMS or the Hydropower Reform Coalition.


Clackamas River, Oregon - Clackamas Project 

Missouri and Madison Rivers, Montana -  Missouri-Madison Project 

Deschutes River Oregon - Pelton Round Butte Project

Pend Orielle River, Washington - Boundary Project

Similkameen River, Washington - Enloe Project

Snake River, Idaho - Mid-Snake Project 

Sultan River - S. Henry M. Jackson Project 

Sun River, Montana - Gibson Project

W. Rosebud Creek, Montana - Mystic Lake Project 


Piru Creek, California - Santa Felicia Project 

Mokolumne River, California - Mokolumne River Projects 

South Fork American River, California - Chili Bar Project 

Upper American River, California - Upper American Projects 


Blacksmith River, Utah - Hyrum Dam 


Fox River, Wisconsin - Badger-Rapide Crochet 

Au Sable River, Michigan - Au Sable River Projects

Boardman River, Michigan - Boardman River Projects

Dead River, Michigan - Dead River Projects

Manistee Michigan - Manistee River Projects

Menominee, Michigan - Menominee River Projects

Muskegon, Michigan - Muskegon River Projects

Muskingum, Michigan - Muskingum River Projects

Ontonagon, Michigan - Ontonagon River Projects


Kanawha River Project - London-Marmet Project

Kanawha River, West Virginia - Winfield Project

Nantahala River, North Carolina - Nantahala Project  

New River, Virginia - Claytor Project 

Yadkin River, Wilkesboro, North Carolina - W. Kerr Scott Dam Project 

Yadkin and Pee Dee Rivers, Alabama - Yadkin-Pee Dee Project


Hudson River, New York - Green Island Power 

Otter Creek, Vermont - Otter Creek Project

Presumpscot River, Maine - Eel Weir Project


These summaries are also available on the Hydropower Reform Coalition website, www.hydroreform.org along with links to the complete license, other hydropower projects and a wealth of information about the relicensing of hydropower dams. 

This project has been made possible by the Arches Foundation, accompanied by support from the BLM for summaries prepared in 2015.