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Rainbow Dam

United States / GREAT FALLS, Montana
Location ID: #618
Rainbow Dam is an eight-unit hydroelectric plant on the Missouri River, about six miles northeast of Great Falls, Mont. The units have a total generating capacity of 36 megawatts. Rainbow Dam, which began operation in 1910, is 1,055 feet long and 29 feet high. Its reservoir is 4 miles long and has a storage capacity of 1,050 acre-feet. The dam is classified as a “run-of-river” project because it can generate electricity using the water that flows down the river, without the need to store additional supplies. Immediately downstream from Rainbow Dam is Rainbow Falls, which has a drop of 47 feet. Further downstream is Horseshoe Falls, with a drop of 12 feet.

Rainbow Dam is one of eight hydroelectric plants and one reservoir along the Missouri and Madison rivers covered under PPL Montana’s Project 2188 operating license. Rainbow Dam is part of the Great Falls Portage National Historic Landmark. It is located between PPL Montana’s Black Eagle and Cochrane dams.

Location Address

336 Rainbow Dam Road
GREAT FALLS, Montana 59404
County: Cascade
Region: Region 5 – CENTRAL MONTANA

Contact Details

Montana Film Office
Department of Commerce
301 S. Park
Helena, MT 59601
Contact Phone: (800) 553-4563
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