Orchard City: Lots of snags for proposed hydroelectric generation station at the water treatment plant

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From the Delta County Independent:

The town board conducted a public hearing on Dec. 12 to discuss the project. The hearing is part of the public process mandated by FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, for obtaining necessary federal approvals.

The town wants to install a 22 kilowatt generating turbine at the water treatment plant that hopefully would save up to $10,000 in propane costs for heat that the town has spent in previous years.

The cost of propane has recently come down, reducing the cost of heating the treatment plant. That has negated some savings originally calculated in the project and extended even further the estimated payback period for the hydro installation.

A regulatory snag has also crept into plans. The 22 kilowatt generator the town plans to install will actually generate more electricity than the treatment plant needs. But a regulation prohibits the town from getting credit for the excess electricity generated.

If the town isn’t able to get credit for its excess produced electricity through credits on other meters it owns, then the project may collapse because the payback could disappear altogether.

More hydroelectric coverage here and here.

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