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Lower Molina Powerplant

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Collbran Project
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Lower Molina Powerplant Performance (pdf)
RegionFacilities in Upper Colorado | Upper Colorado Home Page
RiverPlateau Creek
PurposeElectrical energy is generated for use in west-central Colorado.
FactsThe Lower Molina penstock extends 4.7 miles from the Molina Equalizing Reservoir to the Lower Molina Powerplant. The penstock consists of steel pipe ranging in diameter from 36 inches at its upper end to 30 inches at the lower section. It has a maximum capacity of 50 cubic feet per second.
FactsThe single-unit Lower Molina Powerplant has an installed capacity of 4,860 kilowatts at a design head of 1,400 feet and a maximum water discharge of 50 cubic feet per second.
FactsPower generated at both power plants is transformed to a transmission voltage of 115 kilovolts at two substations constructed adjacent to the plants. A 5.5-mile transmission line leads from the substation at the Upper Molina Powerplant, delivers energy produced at the plant to the substation at Lower Molina Power, and then connects to Xcel Energy.
HistoryIn fiscal year 1992 the unit control system was upgraded. Lower Molina Powerplant installed the UPS system, static exciter, SCADA, and Sy/Max 400 PLC. This reconfigured the plant from local operation to remote. A plant water flow meter was installed in 2001. A new generator circuit breaker and a battery monitoring system were installed in 2002. Lower Molina was shut down during part of the 2002 water year so water could be delivered to a canal at the upper plant. Overall generation from the plant was affected because of the lack of water. A new governor, unit protection and unit control was installed in 2003.
Present ActivitiesCommunicating analog data to the RTU in digital format to lessen the errors in the data and installing transfer trip relaying to the Upper Molina plant.
Future Planned ActivitiesPurchase and install new water wheel and new generator step up transformer.
NERC RegionWestern Electricity Coordinating Council, Rocky Mountain Power Area
PMA Service AreaWestern Area Power Administration, Colorado River Storage Project Management Center
Plant TypeConventional
Powerhouse TypeAbove Ground
Turbine TypePelton Impulse
Original Nameplate Capacity4,860 kW
Installed Capacity4,860 kW
Year of Initial Operation1962
Age45 years
Net Generation16,377,900 kWh
(Fiscal Year)2007
Rated Head1400 ft
Plant Factor38.5 percent (annual)
(Fiscal Year)2007
Production ModeIntermediate
Remotely OperatedYes
Project AuthorizationThe Congress authorized the Collbran Project July 3, 1952, under Public Law 445, 82nd Congress, 2nd Session.
Project PurposeThe Collbran Project, in west-central Colorado, developed a major part of the unused water in Plateau Creek and its principal tributaries. Supplemental irrigation service is furnished and electrical energy is generated for use in west-central Colorado.
Project PurposeThe project also rehabilitated and modified the operation of 15 small privately owned storage reservoirs on the Grand Mesa in the Cottonwood Creek and Big Creek watersheds. These reservoirs provide water for power generation through exchanging storage water on Grand Mesa for irrigation water from Vega Reservoir.
Project PurposeBoth the Lower Molina and Upper Molina Powerplants are operated in conjunction with Colorado River Storage Project power operations.
First name Larry
Last name Lingerfelt
Title Manager, Curecanti Field Division
Phone (Fax) 970 240-6304
Phone (Individual) 970 240-6300

Last updated: May 13, 2009