Energy policy — hydroelectric: The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservation District is spearheading a hydroelectric generation plant just downstream of Pueblo Dam

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I’m a big proponent of hydroelectric power, possibly because I love technology, but also because of the low-carbon nature of hydropower. Of course, the effects on streamflow and aquatic and riparian life when a stream is harnessed, dammed, channeled, etc. are well known so I tend to favor retrofits in a stream system that has already been affected, rather than the taking of another stream life for humankind.

Here’s a report from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, Colorado Springs, Pueblo Board of Water Works and Fountain are planning on making a bid for a hydropower plant just downstream of the dam. All of the partners are Southeastern district members and other partners could be added. “We’re putting together a partnership to try to win the award,” said Jim Broderick, executive director of the Southeastern district told the district’s board Thursday. “I think this is an opportunity for the district.”

The plant would require an environmental review. It is not decided what organizational structure the group would use to build the hydropower plant. A preliminary report shows the group would make a profit on a plant generating anywhere from 4 to 8.6 megawatts of power. The cost of building the plant would be $11 million to $18.7 million, and state loans, government incentives and grants would be available to pay much of the cost, said Lindsay George of the Applegate Group…

The plant would hook onto the North Outlet Works river connection that is now being built as part of SDS. The connection includes one pipeline that goes to the Juniper Pump Station and another that would serve as the primary feed for the Arkansas River. The feed to the hydropower plant would use direct flows to spin turbines…

The hydropower plant would only be able to run from about April to September, when river releases are high enough to run turbines.

More hydroelectric coverage here and here.

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