Southwest Colorado Small-Scale Hydro

If you are interested in developing small-scale hydro projects in southwestern Colorado, particularly ditch drops and pressurized irrigation (including center pivots), visit the Colorado Small Hydropower Association website. At a workshop held in Durango on May 19th, it was clear there are many agricultural hydropower opportunities in southwestern Colorado, thanks in part to new federal and state incentives. In 2013, federal small hydro permitting reform legislation became law, dramatically simplifying federal approval for small hydro. On May 31, 2014 Governor Hickenlooper signed into law House Bill 1030. Similar to the 2013 federal reforms, the law is designed to streamline development of new small hydropower in the state, by enabling state and regulatory approval for small hydro projects to take place at the same time and empowering the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) to coordinate the review of small hydro license applications. The CEO is also to serve as liaison between the state and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The bill further simplifies the electrical inspection process for small hydro by specifying the National Electrical Code standards that electricians and inspectors should follow when installing small hydro.