Energy policy — hydroelectric: New plant planned for Carter Lake

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Here’s the release from the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (Brian Werner):

Thanks to the recent completion of a power purchase agreement with Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, Northern Water is moving forward with construction on a hydropower facility at Carter Lake. Carter Lake is a reservoir of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project system located southwest of Loveland.

The cooperative arrangement will produce 7 million to 10 million kilowatt-hours of clean renewable energy each year – enough to power approximately 1,000 homes.

“We’re pleased that the C-BT will provide a portion of the green, sustainable energy that Poudre Valley needs,” said Northern Water Project Manager Carl Brouwer.

“The Carter Lake hydro project is an example of PVREA’s commitment to pursue renewable energy resources and make them a part of our generation portfolio mix when the make economic sense and bring value to our membership,” said Brad Gaskill, CEO of PVREA.

“PVREA is excited to be a partner and purchase 100 percent of the energy form this green power project.”

Northern Water’s Board of Directors recently approved a series of resolutions to move ahead with the project, which Northern Water will own, operate and maintain. It will include two 1,300 -kw turbines, a 2,000-square-foot powerhouse and connections to the existing Carter Lake Second Outlet and the St. Vrain Supply Canal. The project will harness the pressure created by existing releases from the outlet to make energy.
Northern Water has ordered the hydro facility’s turbines from United Kingdom-based Gilkes, a company that has been manufacturing turbines for nearly 150 years.

A 600-foot power line will link to Poudre Valley REA transmission system.

The $6 million project received a $2 million low-interest loan through the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority. The project will generate about $600,000 a year – money that will go back to repay construction loans as well as help pay for future upgrades.

Construction is set to begin in the fall, with power generation starting as early as mid-2012.

More hydroelectric coverage here and here.

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