Salt River celebrates centennial of Roosevelt Dam

Arizona’s Roosevelt Dam has provided the Phoenix metropolitan area with power for 100 years.

The 357-foot-high Roosevelt Dam, located on the Salt River, was built between 1905 and 1911. Power was first delivered on a permanent basis from the hydroelectric facility in 1909.

The Theodore Roosevelt Dam facility has a generating capacity of 36,000 kWh.

“That first power delivery, three years before Arizona would achieve statehood, helped set up power as the ‘paying partner’ for the water reclamation project and establish Salt River Project as the first multipurpose reclamation project,” said Shelly Dudley, senior historical analyst for the Salt River Project.

The National Reclamation Act, signed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1902, provided federal loans for construction of reclamation projects in the West. Salt River Valley settlers formed the Salt River Valley Water Users’ Association in 1903 and pledged their land as collateral to secure a government loan for the storage and delivery system’s construction.

Salt River Project’s customer base for electricity now has grown to about 930,000.

Hydropower from the Roosevelt Dam facility and three other facilities on the Salt River make up a portfolio of solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy sources that account for about six percent of the company’s annual generation mix, according to Salt River Project.

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