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Upper Molina Powerplant

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Collbran Project
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Upper Molina Powerplant Performance (pdf)
RegionFacilities in Upper Colorado | Upper Colorado Home Page
RiverCottonwood Creek
PurposeElectrical energy is generated for use in west-central Colorado.
FactsThe Upper Molina penstock extends from the junction of the Bonham and Cottonwood pipelines, continues approximately 2.4 miles down the north slope of Grand Mesa, and terminates at the Upper Molina Powerplant. The penstock consists of welded steel pipe with a capacity of 50 cubic feet per second, ranging in diameter from 36 inches at the junction with the Bonham-Cottonwood collection system to 33 inches at the lower section.
FactsThe Bonham Reservoir acts as a forebay for the Upper Molina Powerplant, which controls releases up to a maximum capacity of 50 cubic feet per second from the reservoir. Upper Molina Powerplant consists of a single 8,640-kilowatt generating unit. This unit operates at a design head of 2,490 feet with power tailwater discharges up to 50 cubic feet per second into the Molina Equalizing Reservoir. Both the Lower and Upper Molina Powerplants are operated in conjunction with Colorado River Storage Project power operations.
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 Powerplant, and connects to Xcel Energy.
HistoryIn fiscal year 1992, the unit control system was upgraded. Upper Molina Powerplant installed the UPS system, static exciter, SCADA, and Sy/Max 400 PLC. This reconfigured the plant from local operation to remote. Replaced the turbine runner and unit relay protection in FY 2000. Installed flow meter on the turbine in 2000; new generator circuit breaker and battery monitoring system in 2002. Replaced the governor, controls, and protective relaying in 2003-2004.
Present ActivitiesThe bearing cooling system is being upgraded to eliminate some problems. A new, safer, evaporative cooler stand is being installed and communicating analog data to the RTU in digital format to lesion the errors in the data is being implemented.
Future Planned ActivitiesPurchase and install new generator step up transformer.
Special IssuesGeneration from the plant has been effected by the lack of water.
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 Capacity8,640 kW
Installed Capacity8,640 kW
Year of Initial Operation1962
Age45 years
Net Generation27,969,400 kWh
(Fiscal Year)2007
Rated Head2490 ft
Plant Factor37 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.
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