From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
The Pueblo Dam could start generating hydropower as soon as 2018. The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District got an update Thursday on its proposal to construct hydropower on the new north outlet works from project manager Kevin Meador.
“We’re a couple of years from bidding the project,” Meador said. “I’m feeling optimistic at this point.”
The district, in partnership with Colorado Springs Utilities and the Pueblo Board of Water Works, is working on a lease of power privilege proposal with the federal Bureau of Reclamation. It should be finalized in February.
An unknown in the project is whether Black Hills Energy, the primary power supplier for the area, will enter a power purchase agreement for the hydropower.
“That could go very smoothly or take a while,” Meador said.
If a Black Hills agreement is not reached, another provider could be approached, including Colorado Springs Utilities.
Utilities constructed the new north outlet works as part of the Southern Delivery System. It will be owned by Reclamation as soon as a contract checklist is completed, said Roy Vaughan, Fryingpan-Arkansas Project manager for Reclamation. The hydropower plant would generate 7 megawatts of electric power and cost about $20 million. A loan will be sought in 2015 through the Colorado Water Conservation Board to finance the project. Construction would begin later next year, Meador said.
“Generation could begin in the early spring of 2018,” he said.
More Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District coverage here.