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Mount Elbert Powerplant

Photo of Mount Elbert Powerplant
Related Projects & Facilities
Mt Elbert Forebay Dam
Fryingpan-Arkansas Project
Related Documents
Mount Elbert Powerplant Performance (pdf)
RegionFacilities in Great Plains | Great Plains Home Page
RiverTrans Mountain Diversion
PurposeGeneration of hydroelectric power for the project and supports peak capacity needs of the interconnected power system.
FactsThe powerplant was designed with modern architectural lines and is an all-concrete structure equivalent to a 14-story building, although most of the structure is below ground on the edge of Twin Lakes.
FactsThe power generated at Mt. Elbert derives from water originally pumped from Twin Lakes, which acts as the Mt. Elbert afterbay, and also from supplemental water delivered from Turquoise Lake to the forebay. The generators are designed to operate as a 170,000-horsepower electric motor which drives the turbines in reverse, and pumps water back up to refill the forebay. This pumping mode normally will be used during the very early morning hours, when power demands are low and surplus low-rate power is received from other generating stations. This pump-back storage principle is advantageous since the generating units can be started quickly and adjustments of power output can be made rapidly to respond to varying patterns of daily and seasonal power demands.
HistoryNormal operations since completion in 1981.
Present ActivitiesSF6 Switchyard breakers (replace oil circuit breakers); replace Unit 1 exciter system; unit cooling water and plant water system replacements; Unit 2 transformer bushing replacement; Unit 1 transformer gasification testing; main control board upgrades.
Special IssuesPlant generation restrictions are not on generator size, rather the restrictions on the penstocks.
NERC RegionWestern Electricity Coordinating Council, Rocky Mountain Power Area
PMA Service AreaWestern Area Power Administration, Rocky Mountain Region
Plant TypePump Storage
Powerhouse TypeAbove Ground
Turbine TypeFrancis
Original Nameplate Capacity200,000 kW
Installed Capacity200,000 kW
Year of Initial Operation1981
Age32 years
Net Generation313,446,000 kWh
(Fiscal Year)2007
Rated Head448 ft
Plant Factor18.1 percent
(Fiscal Year)2007
Production ModePeaking
Remotely OperatedYes
Project AuthorizationThe Congress authorized the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project under Public Law 87-590 (77 Stat. 393), signed by the President on August 16, 1962.
Project PurposeThe Fryingpan-Arkansas Project is a multi-purpose transmountain diversion development in southeastern Colorado. It makes possible an average annual diversion of 69,200 acre-feet of surplus water from the Fryingpan River and other tributaries of the Roaring Fork River on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains to the Arkansas River on the eastern slope.
First name Scott
Last name Wik
Title Plant Supervisor
Phone (Fax) 719 486-3631
Phone (Individual) 719 486-2325

Last updated: Jan 13, 2015