A system consisting of 490 miles of 115-kilovolt transmission line and 11 substations totaling 81,750 kilovolt-amperes was developed and operated by the Rio Grande Project until 1977. It was subsequently sold to a private electric company.
he Secretary of the Interior authorized the Rio Grande Project on December 2, 1905, under the provision of the Reclamation Act, and funds were allocated to initiate construction of the first diversion unit. The Reclamation Act was extended to the entire State of Texas on June 12, 1906, following a partial extension for Engle (Elephant Butte) Dam in 1905.
Congress authorized the construction of Elephant Butte Dam on February 25, 1905, and on May 4, 1907, $1 million of nonreimbursable funds were appropriated as the State Department`s share for allocation of 60,000 acre-feet of water annually to Mexico by treaty. Additional project works authorized under congressional action include Caballo Dam, a combined flood control and power regulating structure and the Elephant Butte power development.
The Rio Grande Project furnishes a full irrigation water supply for about 178,000 acres of land and electric power for communities and industries in the area. Drainage water from project lands provides a supplemental supply for 18,000 acres in Hudspeth County, Texas. Project lands occupy the river bottom land of the Rio Grande Valley in south-central New Mexico and west Texas.
Elephant Butte Dam can store 2,065,010 acre-feet of water to provide irrigation and year-round power generation. A court order has restricted power generation during non-irrigation months. This is a concrete gravity dam 301 feet high and 1,674 feet long, including the spillway. It contains 618,785 cubic yards of concrete. The dam was completed in 1916, but storage operation began in 1915. The power system consists of a 27,945-kilowatt hydroelectric powerplant at Elephant Butte Dam. A system consisting of 490 miles of 115-kilovolt transmission line and 11 substations totaling 81,750 kilovolt-amperes was developed and operated by the Rio Grande Project until 1977. It was subsequently sold to a private electric company. Converting Mechanical Governors to Electronic. Replace runner turbines, replace penstock gate operators. Western Electricity Coordinating Council, Rocky Mountain Power Area Western Area Power Administration, Colorado River Storage Project Management Center Conventional Above Ground Francis 24,300 kW 1940 67 years 56,003,456 kWh 140 ft Generation of hydroelectric power for the project. Costs for Elephant Butte Powerplant were not available to be broken down into smaller elements. 27,945 kW 2007
Western Electricity Coordinating Council, Rocky Mountain Power Area
PMA Service Area
Western Area Power Administration, Colorado River Storage Project Management Center