On June 28, members and guests of Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) and Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association (UVWUA) stepped behind the gates and doors of the now operational South Canal Hydroelectric Plant for a ribbon cutting ceremony and tour.
Construction of the project, first envisioned over a century ago, began in April last year when DMEA and UVWUA hired local contractors to begin work on two "run of river" intakes and two powerhouses that would generate an estimated 27,000,000 kilowatt hours (kwh) of electricity, roughly equivalent to the power used by 3,000 homes, annually, in Montrose and Delta counties.
Attendees were treated to a video presentation telling the story of the South Canal hydro project from concept to completion.
They also heard perspectives from those who helped make hydro-power in the Uncompahgre Valley a reality.
"We read in the paper these days that there are a lot of tentative issues with regard to energy," said DMEA general manager Dan McClendon. "We may not have the answers to all the questions surrounding those issues.
What we do have is about seven megawatts of the cheapest power that our members will be able to find for as long as the heavens keep providing us with rain and snow."
After the Montrose Chamber of Commerce Redcoats cut the ceremonial ribbon, members and guests were treated to a walking tour of the hydroelectric plant itself, seeing how irrigation water has fed this area for over 100 years.blog comments powered by Disqus