March 20, 2013--Small hydro bill moves to Senate (Telluride Daily Planet)

This could be the year for a bill supported by an Ophir man who wants to make it easier for small hydroelectric projects to get off the ground. The bill, the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act, passed the U.S. House of Representatives with a unanimous vote in February. It has now made it to the U.S. Senate where it was introduced by Lisa Murkowski a Republican from Alaska.

February 21, 2013--House unanimously passes small hydro legislation (Telluride Watch)

The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act gushed past an important milestone last Wednesday, Feb. 13 when the U.S. House of Representatives approved its passage by a vote of 422-0.The bipartisan legislation seeks to streamline the federal licensing requirements for small hydro projects across the U.S. Local supporters of the bill hailed its passage.

Dolores Water Conservancy District

The Dolores Water Conservancy District (DWCD) has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a permit for feasibility studies (e.g., economic, engineering, environmental, etc.) related to a pump-back water storage project on Plateau Creek, a tributary of McPhee Reservoi

July 3, 2012--Tapping Bridal Veil Falls (Telluride Daily Planet)

The San Miguel Power Association recently took a big step in keeping energy local and renewable. In May, SMPA began purchasing all the energy produced by the Bridal Veil Falls Hydro Plant — between roughly 1,500 and 2,000 megawatt hours a year. The contract is for 25 years.

June 20, 2012--Water power rise (Environmental News Network)

Hydropower or water power is power derived from the energy of falling water, which may be harnessed for useful purposes. Since ancient times, hydropower has been used for irrigation and the operation of various mechanical devices, such as watermills, sawmills, textile mills, dock cranes, and domestic lifts since ancient times. It is one of several renewable power sources.

December 2, 2011--Hydropower may come to Ridgway (Telluride Daily Planet)

Federal regulators are looking at Ridgway Dam as the potential site for a 7-megawatt hydroelectric power plant project. In September, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which owns the dam, submitted a draft environmental assessment examining a lease agreement with the Tri-County Water Conservancy District, the agency that would build the plant and sell electricity to the grid.

Tipton Hydro Bill

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) recently introduced a bill aimed at streamlining the process to approve federal small conduit hydroelectricity projects.

Hydropower Bill Signed

In March, Governor Hickenlooper signed a bill into law that opens the door to more hydroelectric power generation operations in the state. Under HB1083, the Public Utilities Commission can authorize hydro projects and allow rates to be adjusted to recover the costs of the projects, similar to other renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Concessions to environmental groups worried about the impact on aquatic life and others who were concerned about its impact on downstream water users paved the way for the bill’s popularity.

April 24, 2011--A long time coming: Small-scale hydropower growing (Montrose Daily Press)

Mini-hydro, once common in the region, could be making a comeback after being displaced by coal-fired plants. This, despite a low-energy price for green power, and even though the American Tradition Institute recently sued the state over its 2010 law requiring 30 percent of Colorado's power come from renewable non-fossil fuel energy sources.

April 22, 2011--Micro-hydro projects could move faster with pilot program (Montrose Daily Press)

Though conditions of a new pilot program are are rigorous, if a micro-hydropower project complies with them, that project could be completed in a matter of months, rather than years. “The whole concept is to find a way to reduce federal red tape for low-impact projects,” said Francisco Flores, renewable energy program associate at the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office (GEO).

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