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Visit Carter Lake Hydro Plant and Estes Park Hydro Plant

Monday, July 15th, 2024 | 9:30 am – 5:00 pm 

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. 

*Lunch and transportation will be provided.

Cost: $125







Boulder powerhouse






Visit Boulder Canyon Hydro Plant, NREL's Flatirons Campus, and USBR Technical Service Center 

Tuesday, July 16th, 2024 | 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 

This tour includes a visit to a small hydro projects and two research facilities. 
The 5-MW Boulder Canyon hydro plant, owned by the city of Boulder, is more than 100 years old and underwent a modernization in 2013-2014 that involved installing a new water-to-wire package. This modernization, which positioned the small hydro facility to continue operating reliably for decades to come, consisted of retiring a 10-MW GE turbine-generator unit with a 5-MW unit. The reason for downsizing was to provide more water to bypass municipal treated water demands instead of running the river. 
Join National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researchers at the Flatirons Campus for a tour featuring facilities, equipment, and modeling capabilities that highlight how hydropower can be leveraged alongside other renewable energy, energy storage, and energy efficiency technologies within complex energy systems. During the tour, NREL experts will stop at the electrical hydropower lab and controllable grid interface. Other stops will showcase the energy system integration challenges of the future, including hybrid and distributed system design, simulation, and optimization. The tour will also include a demonstration of the updated Renewable Energy Discovery (REDi) Island interactive web-based app.

The Bureau of Reclamation’s Technical Service Center (TSC) provides innovative solutions to water and power resource issues. The TSC consists of about 570 scientists, engineers, and other professional and office staff and operates a world-class materials and hydraulic engineering laboratory. TSC provides technical assistance to other federal agencies through interagency agreements, as well as working with state and private entities through cooperative and technology transfer agreements. Technical assistance and training are also available through agreements with other countries interested in developing their own water resources. 

*Lunch and transportation will be provided.

Cost: $125

Deadline to Register is June 28th

Sponsored By: 


Visit Emrgy's Installation and Denver Water's Ralston Reservoir

Tuesday, July 16th, 2024 | 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm 

During your visit to the Emrgy - Denver Water Innovation Site, you'll experience a vibrant collaboration dedicated to pioneering low-impact, cost-effective, in-conduit renewable energy solutions for existing water infrastructure.

The tour will showcase Emrgy's Distributed Hydropower installation and Canal Floating Solar installation in operation, generating clean renewable energy for the grid. This innovative hybrid distributed energy system, integrated into Denver Water's infrastructure, marks a significant initiative delivering clean energy to support Denver Water's operations while advancing Emrgy's equipment and controls development for global deployment.

Denver Water's Northwater Treatment Plant opened for operations in the spring of 2024. It can treat up to 75 million gallons of water per day, with the ability to expand its capacity as future water demands increase. Sustainability is at the forefront of many design aspects of Northwater. The location of the plant – in a valley adjacent to the water source, Ralston Reservoir – allows the plant to leverage influent pressure to produce energy. Using a 427-kW Francis hydro turbine within the Headworks building, the Northwater Plant will generate up to 2,660 MWh per year, becoming a net energy producer on an annualized basis with a resulting annual offset of 1,485 tons of carbon dioxide.

*Transportation will be provided.

Cost: $60

Deadline to Register is June 28th



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