Here’s the release from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Steve McCall/Justyn Hock):
Reclamation announced today that it will issue a Lease of Power Privilege to the Delta-Montrose Electric Association and the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association to develop hydropower resources on the South Canal, a feature of Reclamation’s Uncompahgre Irrigation Project.
Reclamation will issue the LOPP based on the final environmental assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the proposal. These documents have been completed in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act to address the effects of the construction and operation of hydropower facilities.
Federal policy encourages non-federal development of environmentally sustainable hydropower potential on federal water resource projects. The LOPP will ensure that the development of hydropower is consistent and compatible with existing operations and purposes of the Uncompahgre Project.
The final EA and FONSI are available on Reclamation’s web site or a copy can be obtained by contacting Steve McCall at (970)248-0638.
More coverage from Katharhynn Heidelberg writing for the Montrose Daily Press. From the article:
“It’s big news for us and big news for the Western Slope,” said Tom Polikalis, DMEA spokesman. “This will be the first utility scale project undertaken” by DMEA…
Plans are to construct two power houses on the South Canal, starting with a location at the far eastern end of Miguel Road. A second power house is to be built about 1.5 miles downstream on the canal’s “third” drop. When the project is complete, and depending on canal flows, DMEA expects to generate 6.5 to 7 megawatts — enough for 3,000 homes. (A megawatt is 1,000 kilowatts.)
More hydroelectric coverage here.