Tri-State is involved in various small-scale renewable hydropower projects. Small hydroelectric projects are generally considered to have capacities of less than 30 megawatts. They can be developed at existing dams where water is stored in a reservoir or they can be "run of river" facilities that rely on the natural flow of a river or canal.
Hydropower accounts for a substantial portion of Tri-State's generation portfolio; however, nearly all of that power is obtained through large-scale dam projects, such as Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona and Flaming Gorge Dam in Wyoming. Large-scale hydropower projects are not generally accepted as renewable or "green" energy. As with any power generation project, the opportunity to develop or build more hydropower (small and large) sites is limited to the availability of potential sites.
Small Hydro projects under contract to Tri-State
Jackson Gulch Hydro
Location: near Mancos, Colo.
Operator: Mancos Water Conservancy District
Capacity/Output: 254 kilowatts (maximum); 152,630 kilowatt-hours (average)
Location: near Ridgway, Colo.
Operator: Tri-County Water Conservancy District
Capacity/Output: 8,000 kilowatts (maximum); 24,000,000 kilowatt-hours (average)
Location: near Bayfield, Colo.
Operator: Ptarmigan Resources and Energy
Capacity/Output: 5,224 kilowatts (maximum); 19,310,000 kilowatt-hours (average)
Williams Fork Hydro
Location: near Kremmling, Colo.
Operator: Denver Water Board
Capacity/Output: 3,600 kilowatts (maximum); 10,000,000 kilowatt-hours (average)