Energy policy — hydroelectric: Ouray to install small generation plant, Cortez micro-hydroelectric plant moving forward

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From The Telluride Watch (Beverly Corbell):

{Ouray Mayor Bob Risch] said the city has applied for a grant from the Governor’s Energy Office for about $20,000 to use water from the old Biota water line to generate electricity near the city-owned Ouray Hot Springs pool…

The energy generated, about 20,000 kW, is not great, but would reduce what the city has to pay to San Miguel Power Association. “Anyway we can save energy is good,” Risch said.

From The Cortez Journal (Steve Grazier):

The city established a hydroelectric power enterprise during its Aug. 11 regular meeting and authorized loan documents for the approximately $2 million hydropower center, said City Manager Jay Harrington. “Basically, we’ll be taking energy (water pressure) that’s not utilized … to create electricity,” Harrington said. “It’s a 20-year project to recoup money. But in 20 years, the city will have an asset as a moneymaker.” Harrington noted that an agreement is in place with Empire Electric Association to produce power through the city hydroelectric plant. That power will go into Empire’s grid and help the cooperative’s renewable energy needs. “The pieces are continuing to move forward on the project,” he said.

In addition, a hydroelectric plant could generate electricity off an existing pipeline to provide enough power to run the water treatment facility altogether and produce additional power used for other resources, according to Jack Nickerson, the city’s public works director. “We could generate enough power to run the entire (water treatment) plant and have some left over to sell back to Empire Electric for credit,” Nickerson has said. “We want to utilize the energy that’s there, and lower the city’s carbon footprint (in burning electricity) at the same time.”

More hydroelectric coverage here and here.

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