The White River Electric Association (WREA) has began construction on the Miller Creek Ditch Hydroelectric Plant this week after two years of planning and preparation.

The WREA Miller Creek Ditch Hydro Project will be located at mile marker 4 on Flag Creek, RBC Road 13. The plant will utilize water from the Miller Creek Ditch to generate electricity. The hydro project is expected to generate about 464,500 kWh annually which will serve electricity to the equivalent of 55 homes based upon WREA’s per home average of 700 kWh/month.

In 2015, the WREA Board established the goal of identifying local renewable generation projects that make both electrical and financial sense for WREA and its membership. This project met the Board’s criteria as well as it assists WREA in its compliance with Colorado’s local renewable generation mandates. WREA has agreements in place with the Miller Creek Ditch and the impacted landowners.

The plant will be operational during the irrigation season, and will return a production fee to the Miller Creek Ditch based upon total generation. WREA retained Lindsey George with Small Hydro LLC to complete the feasibility analysis, design and engineering for the project. WREA went through a competitive bid process with several local and national contractors responding. Local contractor Rock Hawg Construction was selected.

The project will be constructed in phases with the goal to be operational by early fall. WREA will continue to update its membership as the project progresses.