Wolford Mountain Reservoir may be future site of hydroelectric plant | SkyHiNews.com

Wolford Mountain Reservoir may be future site of hydroelectric plant

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News

Wolford Mountain Reservoir in Kremmling could one day produce “green energy,” says Jim Pokrandt, Colorado River District communications specialist.

The district is researching what it would cost to run a hydroelectric energy plant. And how much buyers are willing to pay for it, he said.

“It’s something that’s being considered,” Pokrandt said. “There’s a keen interest for sure … There are entities out there who are interested in the green power.”

If feasible, the plant would benefit the river district and community.

“There’s awareness and desire for green power,” he added. “(But) you don’t want it to be a money-loser.”

The district would also need a permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Grand County commissioners before it could proceed.

The power would come from water being released through the dam to power a generator.

“As long as there’s water coming out of the dam, it’s kind of a free source of power,” Pokrandt said.

The district does not know how much the project would cost. It would have to buy and install equipment, maintain and operate it, and transmit the energy from the power plant to an electrical grid.

“There could be a cost to put it on the grid and wheel it around to whoever is buying it,” Pokrandt said. “When you start generating power it’s only good if you can put it on the grid.”

There is still a lot of work that needs to be done, he said.

The reservoir was built in the 1990s. Building the plant has been in the back of officials’ minds since then.

“These things are something that are naturally thought of,” he said.

“The more that we can create green power, the better off we are, if we don’t have to burn quite so much coal,” Pokrandt said. “Green power is a good thing. It’s just harnessing the power of water.”

” Katie Looby covers government and education for the Sky-Hi Daily News. You may reach her at 887-3334 ext. 19601 or klooby@grandcountynews.com.

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