The Abiquiu hydropower project in New Mexico - the first hydropower project in the US funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – has been completed, US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced.

“Today marks a major milestone in securing America’s clean energy future as we celebrate the completion of the Department of Energy’s first major Recovery Act-funded water power project. By increasing renewable energy output at existing hydropower facilities, we can create clean energy jobs, bolster our nation’s economic competitiveness, and contribute to America’s diverse energy portfolio,” said Secretary Chu. “The Abiquiu Low-Flow Turbine Hydropower Project highlights the clean energy potential and local economic benefits that come with the environmentally responsible use of our rivers.”

The project received a $4.5M Recovery Act grant from the Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Power Program, which was leveraged with $4.5M from the private sector to fully fund the project. The low-flow turbine will increase renewable energy generation capacity by 22% at the Abiquiu facility – from 13.8MW to 16.8MW. The new 3MW turbine will produce enough energy to power 1100 homes annually and will supply clean energy to Los Alamos County, including DOE’s Los Alamos National Laboratory.