Carter Lake: The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District dedicates their new hydroelectric generation facility


From the Loveland Reporter-Herald (Pamela Dickman):

A hydroelectric plant is now up and running at Carter Lake west of Loveland and pumping energy into the Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association grid Dignitaries from Northern Water, which built the plant, the REA, Tri State Generation and even the United States Department of Interior on Thursday dedicated the Robert V. Trout Hydropower Plant not far from the south shore of the lake…

Already, the Colorado-Big Thompson Water that funnels through the Adams Tunnel from the Western Slope to Northern Colorado feed six Bureau of Reclamation hydroelectric power plants and has fed 37 billion kilowatt hours of electric energy into the grid. The new plant, owned and operated by Northern Water, will add 2.6 megawatts of power, or enough to feed 1,000 homes…

The water district named the plant after Trout, a lawyer who has represented the water district for 35 years and whose innovative and tireless efforts helped bring the hydroelectric plant to life.

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

Northern Water dedicated their first hydropower plant today at Carter Lake southwest of Loveland. About 100 people attended the ceremony, which featured Anne Castle, assistant secretary for water and science for the U.S. Department of the Interior, and speakers from several organizations involved in the project.

The project, which started generating power in mid-May, harnesses pressure created by existing releases from the outlet tower at the south end of Carter Lake, a Colorado-Big Thompson Project reservoir. The facility includes two 1,300-kilowatt turbines and connections to the Carter Lake outlet and the St. Vrain Supply Canal. It is expected to produce 7 to 10 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy a year – enough to power about 1,000 homes – sold by the Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association.

“Although the industry classifies this hydro project as small, it’s a really big step for Northern Water. We’re taking energy in the form of pressure that was already there and turning it into marketable power that expands Poudre Valley REA’s green energy portfolio,” said Carl Brouwer, project manager for Northern Water.

Northern Water’s Board of Directors approved a resolution earlier this month to name the facility the Robert V. Trout Hydropower Plant after attorney Bob Trout, Northern Water legal counsel for more than 35 years. Just as he was for countless other initiatives, Trout was instrumental in the development of the hydro project.

The $6 million project received a $2 million low-interest loan through the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority, and Northern Water’s new hydropower enterprise fund is managing a loan for the rest. The project’s projected revenue, which will repay construction costs and cover future upgrades, is about $600,000 a year.

More hydroelectric coverage here and here.

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