Non-Federal Hydropower Development in the Upper Colorado Region
Did you know that Reclamation’s Upper Colorado Region is the leading developer of non-federal hydropower on Reclamation Facilities? It is. Reclamation’s Lease of Power Privilege (LOPP) program allows private entities to enter into contracts with the United States to construct and operate private hydropower facilities on our many of our Reclamation Facilities. The program helps facilitate the development of new hydropower by taking advantage of sites where, through Reclamation meeting its mission of delivering water to our customers, water is either is stored (i.e. behind a dam) or falls through a drop structure.
The program works by developing a cooperative partnership among Reclamation, the project operation and maintenance entities and in many cases a private entity all working together to bring a potential hydropower location into reality.
The Upper Colorado Region currently has 8 small non-federal hydropower facilities constructed and operating on Reclamation owned facilities. This spring, 2 new facilities on the Uncompahgre Project in western Colorado are scheduled to be commissioned and begin generating power which will start servicing customers in the west. There are 2 other non-federal hydro facilities projected to be completed in 2016 and there is interest in several other sites within the Upper Colorado Region.
The successful implementation of the LOPP program in the Upper Colorado Region is just one of many examples where Reclamation is leading the development of renewable resources in the West.