Here’s the release from the US Bureau of Reclamation (Patience Hurley):
The Bureau of Reclamation has completed the environmental study process and released the necessary documents for the Pueblo Hydropower Project to move forward.
“Final Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) were completed to address a request from Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, Board of Water Works of Pueblo, and Colorado Springs Utilities to develop hydropower at the federally-owned Pueblo Dam,” said Signe Snortland, Area Manager for Reclamation’s Eastern Colorado Area Office.
The next step for Reclamation is to enter into a contract called a Lease of Power Privilege. This contract authorizes the use of federal lands, facilities, and Fryingpan-Arkansas Project water to construct, operate, and maintain a 7 megawatt hydropower facility at the Pueblo Dam. The project utilizes a “run of river” design that harnesses water releases from Pueblo Dam to generate power and provide a clean, renewable source of energy.
“A hydropower plant and associated facilities will be constructed at the base of Pueblo Dam, utilize the dam’s north outlet works, and immediately return flows to the Arkansas River downstream of the dam,” said Snortland.
About 1.4 miles of new power and fiber-optic lines will also be constructed to connect the hydropower plant to the existing Black Hills Energy’s Pueblo Reservoir Substation. Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2016 with power generation anticipated in 2018.
The EA and FONSI are available online at: http://www.usbr.gov/gp/ecao/nepa/pueblo_hydropower.html
For additional information or to receive a printed copy of the EA/FONSI, please contact Terence Stroh at 970-962-4369 or TStroh@usbr.gov.