Fort Morgan: The current market for electricity will not support a hydroelectric generation facility

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From The Fort Morgan Times (Jenni Grubbs):

The hydro project, we’ve looked at it for quite a long time,” Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District Project Manager Carl Brouwer told the council.

He pointed out that due to the nearly 1,300-foot elevation difference on the water pipeline between Carter Lake and Fort Morgan, “there is great potential for power generation.”

The big question the council has had for years is whether it would be feasible from a cost-benefit standpoint to put in a hydroelectric system in that pipeline. The council had asked Northern to look into this for both the district and the city, and Brouwer presented the results of the feasibility study to the council Tuesday night.

There would not be a problem with installing a small, in-line hydropower generation unit, he said, but with prices being where they are, it would cost more than the revenue it created. The project would cost a little more than $1.2 million, and the return on the project would be dependent upon the rates the city could get for putting electricity back into the power grid.

Right now, those rates are running less than eight cents per kilowatt hour, which is the minimum the city would need for a system that would barely do more than break even. Historically, the rate had been 4 cents, but it changes with the energy market.

More hydroelectric coverage here and here.

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