Following the recent completion of a power purchase agreement with Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, Northern Water has announced it is moving forward with construction of a hydropower facility at Carter Lake, a reservoir of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project system in Colorado, US.

Northern Water’s Board of Directors recently approved a series of resolutions to move ahead with the project, which Northern Water will own, operate and maintain through its Hydro Water Activity Enterprise. It will include two 1300kW turbines supplied by Gilkes, a powerhouse and connections to the existing Carter Lake Second Outlet and the St. Vrain Supply Canal. The project will harness the pressure created by existing releases from the new outlet to make energy.

A 600ft power line will link to PVREA transmission system. PVREA will purchase 100% of the energy produced.

The $6M project received a $2M low-interest loan through the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority. The project will generate about $600,000 a year – money that will go back to repay construction costs as well as help pay for future upgrades.

Construction is set to begin in the fall, with power generation starting as early as mid-2012.

The Colorado-Big Thompson Project is the largest transmountain water diversion project in Colorado. Built between 1938 and 1957, it provides supplemental water to 30 cities and towns. The water is used to help irrigate approximately 693,000 acres of northeastern Colorado farmland.

Twelve reservoirs, 35 miles of tunnels, 95 miles of canals and 700 miles of transmission lines comprise the complex collection, distribution and power system.