The W. A. C. Bennett Dam is a large hydroelectric power plant earthfill dam on the Peace River in northern British Columbia, Canada. The W. A. C. Bennett Dam, located 19 kilometres (12 mi) west of Hudson's Hope, and 85 kilometres (53 mi) northwest of Chetwynd, is named after the late former premier W. A. C. Bennett, and came on-line in 1968. During the planning and construction phase it was called the "Portage Mountain Development."

The complex consists of the main earth-fill dam, which holds back Williston Lake, and the underground Gordon M. Shrum Generating Station. It is capable of generating 2,730 megawatts of electricity at peak capacity. The W. A. C. Bennett Dam is constructed 660 m (2,170 ft) above sea level.

The W.A.C. Bennett Dam Visitor Centre is located at the dam, overlooking Williston Lake Reservoir. The centre features exhibits on the dam, hydroelectricity, and the area's natural and cultural history. There is also a video theatre and a cafe. The dam is also very close to the Peace River dam, a few miles south.

Under the direction of Dal Grauer. B.C. Electric obtained the necessary permits and land titles to proceed with the project, completed the design and made preparations for work to begin on site in 1963. However, the assets of that private electric utility company were expropriated by the Provincial Government just as construction of the Peace River hydroelectric dam was about to commence. Several of the top executives of B.C. Electric left the newly created Crown Corporation, B.C. Hydro, and construction proceeded under new management.

The finished project was brought online in the late 1960s and has provided British Columbia, and in particular the Lower Mainland and the City of Vancouver and export markets in the United States, with electricity ever since. The reservoir, once filled, flooded the Finlay, Parsnip, and Peace River valleys and became the largest man made lake on the planet. This flooding was not without consequence, however, to the people who had been living in those valleys.

At the time, the Peace River project was one of the largest developments of its kind in the world. It provided thousands of jobs during construction and facilitated rapid industrial growth throughout British Columbia over the next forty years.

W. A. C. Bennett Dam
Locale British Columbia,
Coordinates 56°01′00″N 122°12′02″W / 56.0166667°N 122.20056°W / 56.0166667; -122.20056Coordinates: 56°01′00″N 122°12′02″W / 56.0166667°N 122.20056°W / 56.0166667; -122.20056
Construction began 1963
Opening date 1968
Owner(s) BC Hydro
Type of dam Embankment dam
Length 2,068 m (6,785 ft)
Height 186 m (610 ft)
Impounds Peace River
Creates Williston Lake
Capacity 7,400,000,000 m3 (2.6×1011 cu ft)
Surface area 1,761 km2 (680 sq mi)
Power station
Turbines 10 × 273 MW
Installed capacity 2,730 MW
Annual generation 13,100 GWh