Energy policy — hydroelectric: Is there micro-hydroelectric potential in Telluride?

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From The Telluride Daily Planet (Katie Klingsporn):

The town plans to complete two micro-hydro projects in 2011. One is a feasibility study of its wastewater and water systems to determine if there are opportunities to install turbines in the town’s existing structures. The other entails installing a discharge monitoring station upstream of the Jud Wiebe Bridge to obtain data necessary in determining the financial feasibility and environmental impacts of a micro-hydro project at Stillwell Tunnel.

The town has identified two other micro-hydro projects it would like to investigate — a project at the yet-constructed Pandora water treatment plant and a power purchase from the Bridal Veil power station — and hopes to get to those a year or so down the line. A work plan drawn up by public works project manager Karen Guglielmone details the projects…

[Mayor Stu Fraser] said the hydrology studies need to happen before the town goes out looking for grants to fund the actual installations.

The first project involves looking for opportunities for micro-hydro in the town’s existing water plant and wastewater treatment plant. Fraser said this will involve determining if the town can insert mini micro-hydro turbines into pressure release valves. This could represent easy and relatively cheap opportunities for the town, because it already owns the infrastructure.

The second project will accomplish a recommendation that came out of the 2009 Stillwell Micro-Hydro Feasibility Study — installing a discharge monitoring station up-stream of the Jud Wiebe Bridge. The goal is twofold: to determine if a project would dry up a portion of Cornet Creek and Cornet Falls during part of the year, and to determine information necessary for a cost-benefit analysis.

More hydroelectric coverage here and here.

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