During the Level II analysis of the Buffalo Municipal Reservoir Project, the feasibility
of installing a hydropower unit using the existing Buffalo water supply line from the
diversion structure on Clear Creek was evaluated. Revenues from power sales would make a
substantial contribution towards retiring the loan for the Buffalo Municipal Reservoir
project. Water released from the reservoir for municipal use, meeting downstream water
rights, and instream flow purposes would provide a steady and reliable source of falling
water for power generation.
In 1991, concept level plans, cost estimates and operating plans were completed and the
final report was submitted to WWDC and the project sponsor. Total cost of the hydropower
unit is estimated at $1,075,000. The project sponsor opted to request construction funds
for the hydropower generation unit. The two projects, the Buffalo Municipal Reservoir
and the Buffalo Hydropower project, are mutually interdependent for economic feasibility.
In 1992, the WWDC and the city completed the project agreement, note and mortgage
necessary for the city to access project funds. The city has received the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission license necessary to operate the hydropower facility. The project
has been designed and construction bids were received in January, 1996. Construction began
in the summer of 1996 and substantial completion was achieved in May, 1997. A small project
which will help alleviate the accumulation of silt at the stream diversion structure was
awarded in December, 1997.
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
No legislative action is required.