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Koma Kulshan Hydroelectric Project
Koma Kulshan Project map.jpg
Image of project on Mount Baker as seen from space: red dot is powerhouse, green dot is dam(s). Bellingham on the upper left side of frame, Lake Shannon on lower right.
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Location of Koma Kulshan Hydroelectric Project in Washington
Official name Koma Kulshan Project
Country United States
Location Mount Baker National Forest in Whatcom County, Washington
Coordinates 48°40′49″N 121°43′24″W / 48.6802°N 121.7233°W / 48.6802; -121.7233
Purpose Hydroelectricity
Status Operational
Construction began 1989
Opening date October 1990
Owner(s) Covanta Energy and Atlantic Power
Operator(s) Puget Sound Energy
Dam and spillways
Impounds Sulphur Creek, Rocky Creek
Height Rocky Creek Dam: 32 feet (9.8 m)
Sulphur Creek Dam: 37 feet (11 m)
Length Rocky Creek Dam: 18 feet (5.5 m)
Sulphur Creek Dam: 15 feet (4.6 m)
Power station
Name Koma Kulshan powerhouse
Coordinates 48°40′49″N 121°43′24″W / 48.6802°N 121.7233°W / 48.6802; -121.7233
Operator(s) Puget Sound Energy
Commission date 1990
Type Run-of-the-river
Hydraulic head c. 1,600 ft (490 m)
Turbines 1 x Sulzer Escher Wyss Pelton wheel
Installed capacity 13.3 MW @ maximum flow 120 cu ft/s (3.4 m3/s)
Capacity factor 38.6% (2009-2010)
Annual generation 45,000,000 kWh (10/1/2009–9/30/2010)

The Koma Kulshan Project is a 13.3 MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric generation facility on the slopes of Mount Baker, a stratovolcano in Washington state's North Cascades. The project commenced commercial operation in October 1990, and is owned by a Covanta Energy–Atlantic Power joint venture. It supplies Puget Sound Energy via a Power Supply Agreement (PSA) contract. Its single turbine is a Pelton wheel supplied by Sulzer Escher Wyss.

Located in the Mount Baker National Forest, it is one of six Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)-licensed small hydro installations on Federal Government land in Washington state.

Koma Kulshan is the name of Mount Baker in the Lummi dialect.


Intakes are located at diversion dams on the Rocky Creek and Sulphur Creek tributaries of Lake Shannon. A 42–45-inch (1,100–1,100 mm) diameter, 19,250-foot (5,870 m) long penstock carries water from a bifurcation (48°41′29″N 121°47′31″W / 48.6914°N 121.7919°W / 48.6914; -121.7919 (Penstock head), 2,750 feet (840 m) a.s.l.) to the powerhouse. Water is discharged from the powerhouse through a short run on Sandy Creek to Baker Lake. Up to 120 cubic feet per second (3.4 m3/s) is diverted to the powerhouse. Rocky Creek Dam (48°41′06″N 121°48′23″W / 48.6849°N 121.8065°W / 48.6849; -121.8065 (Rocky Creek diversion dam)) is 18 feet (5.5 m) high, 32 feet (9.8 m) long at 2,770 feet (840 m) a.s.l.

Sulphur Creek Dam (48°41′34″N 121°47′34″W / 48.6928°N 121.7928°W / 48.6928; -121.7928 (Sulphur Creek diversion dam)) is 15 feet (4.6 m) high, 37 feet (11 m) long at 2,755 feet (840 m) a.s.l.

Diversion of the creek affected the appearance of Upper and Middle Sulphur Creek Falls.

Peak generation

Further information: Washington (state)#Climate

Power generation peaks in May through July coinciding with snowmelt, and has a smaller peak in November coinciding with the wet season.

— area topographic map

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