Colorado Springs Utilities to build new hydroelectric plant

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Colorado Spring Utilities is retro-fitting Crystal Creek Reservoir for hydroelectric generation. The small hydro plant will help offset the utilities’ requirements for renewable energy. Here’s a report from R. Scott Rappold writing for the Colorado Springs Gazette. From the article:

Colorado Springs Utilities will begin construction Tuesday on a new $4.5 million hydroelectric plant in Cascade. It will be the fourth hydro plant in Colorado Springs Utilities’ system, and the 850 kilowatts of electricity it generates will power about 530 homes. The plant will be near U.S. Highway 24 south of Cascade…

Utilities gets 8 percent of its energy from hydro plants, and officials are also planning to buy additional wind power to meet the new standards. The new plant will be completed in about six months. The turbine will be powered by water rushing down a pipeline from Crystal Creek Reservoir on Pikes Peak. It is on the site of a pressure-reducing station, which slows water coming off the mountain and will be torn down after the hydro plant is completed. The funding comes from Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, a federal program that provides interest-free, tax-exempt loans for renewable energy projects.

The other hydro plants run by Colorado Springs Utilities include Manitou, built in 1905, Ruxton, built in 1925 and Tesla, at the Air Force Academy, built in 1997.

3 thoughts on “Colorado Springs Utilities to build new hydroelectric plant

  1. I was curious and where you got the generator and what is the manufacturer? How much psi is needed to turn the generator?

    1. John,

      You would be better off contacting Colorado Springs Utilities. I got my information from an article in the Gazette. You can reach CSU at:

      Relay: 711 or 800-659-2656 and request a call to 719-448-4800 (TDD Unit for speech or hearing impaired)
      Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.


      Thanks for commenting.

      John Orr

  2. The Skaguay hydro electric plant in the Beaver Creek watershed on the south slope of Pikes Peak was using the first thousand feed of a four thousand foot drop with 7,000 PSI at the output of the nozzle pushing the pelton wheel. Three of the four generators were in use with insufficient flow to drive a fourth as I understood. With use of the Federal Headwater Assessment Program (an earmark from the US Congress), the four dams above Skaguay could be rebuilt, a holding reservoir at the bottom constructed (the latter eliminating the need for SDS), and the Pueblo dam reconstructed with the proper foundation allowing greater height and resulting in hydro electric suitability…with no up front local funding required. A two cent per kilowatt fee would be paid by rate payers after production begins. Without having to pay coal, transport, and thermal plant upkeep, rates should plummet to the betterment of local citizens and business. Skaguay, with three pelton wheels/generators on line produced the electricity for 35,000 homes(The Gazette article). Using all four thousand feed of drop should produce at least enough for 140,000 homes. I heard there is a twelve fold efficiency increase in modern turbines so the power produced could be arount 2,240 mega watts. CSU currently produces 1,028 mega watts from all sources. And water for Colorado Springs and agricultural use would be a welcome byproduct especially if SDS is eliminated.

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