Tri-State adds to renewable portfolio with hydropower contract

Beginning in 2015, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Assn. said Jan. 23 that it has contracted for the output from its first hydroelectric resource from Wyoming – adding to its growing renewable portfolio that now comprises approximately 20% of the energy that it provides to its 44 member systems.

Completed in 1983, the Garland Canal Hydroelectric Project is located in northwest Wyoming, within the service territory of Tri-State member Garland Light & Power. The 2.9-MW hydro plant is owned and operated by the Shoshone Irrigation District, which provides water to approximately 1,200 farmers and ranchers. It is a part of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s (USBR) Shoshone Project, which is a series of dams that divert water from the Shoshone River into multiple irrigation canals that serve the project.

The facility is sited on the Garland Canal, at a point near the town of Ralston. The canal drops about 50 feet in elevation over a distance of less than half a mile through the Ralston Chute, after which, the rushing water flows through the powerhouse to generate electricity. The turbine/generator produces an average annual output of 10 million kilowatt-hours. 

Tri-State’s 10-year contract to purchase the project output and associated environmental attributes began on Jan. 1, however, as with most irrigation-related projects, generation will occur between mid-April and mid-October, said Susan Hunter, Tri-State’s business development manager for energy resources.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.