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Visit Carter Lake Hydro Plant and Estes Park Hydro Plant

Jul 15, 2024
Technical Tour

Pre-registration for this event is required. This event includes an additional fee unless you have an All Access pass. Visit your registration resource center or reach out to to reserve your seat.

This tour will give attendees the opportunity to visit two operating hydropower plants in Colorado. 
The 2.6-MW Robert V. Trout (Carter Lake) facility, owned by Northern Water, began operating in 2011 with two Francis turbine-generator units. It is part of the Colorado-Big Thompson project, with six original hydropower plants owned by the Bureau of Reclamation and two added more recently by Northern Water. The project spreads over 250 miles and stores, regulates, and diverts water from the Colorado River on the western slope of the Continental Divide to the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. It provides supplemental water for irrigation of about 720,000 acres of land, municipal and industrial use, hydroelectric power, and water-oriented recreation opportunities. Robert V. Trout was the first project in the region to receive a Lease of Power Privilege from Reclamation, granting the ability to pursue hydro on the federally owned facility.  
The 45-MW Estes powerplant, operated by Reclamation, is also part of the Colorado-Big Thompson project. It began operating in 1950 with a single Francis turbine-generator unit and takes diversion water delivered from the Marys Lake Power Plant and holds it in Lake Estes for the project. Lake Estes is formed by Olympus Dam. The afterbay storage in Lake Estes and the forebay storage in Marys Lake enable the Estes powerplant to meet daily variations in energy demand. 

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