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.