Shoshone Generating Station to be back online by next spring
Xcel Energy announced Thursday the Shoshone Hydroelectric plant won’t be back online until the beginning of spring.The Shoshone station, located in Glenwood Canyon, produces 14 megawatts of power.The 98-year old plant was shut down on June 20 after one of the large pipes that delivers water to the plant ruptured and caused water and debris to flood the plant area. Approximately eight feet of water and several tons of rock and soil rushed into the station. The rupture didn’t result in a loss of service for residential customers. Xcel Energy has determined the rupture was caused by corrosion on the exterior of the section of pipe that was buried underground.Repairs are estimated to cost about $12 million, and will include repairing and upgrading both large penstocks. Crews will begin construction in September. “The Shoshone station is a key part of our fleet, providing 14 megawatts of economical, clean, renewable power for our Colorado customers,” said Lou Matis, vice president of operations. “We appreciate the patience of other Colorado River water users, and the cooperation of the Colorado Department of Transportation and emergency responders during the event.”The Colorado River District announced a plan to keep enough water in the Colorado River to benefit rafting companies and endangered fish this summer.Water flows of 1,200 cubic feet per second in Glenwood Canyon will be kept through Labor Day and 810 cfs for endangered fish in the Grand Junction area through October.The group Trout Unlimited has expressed concern over what will happen to water levels after Oct. 31. Once the plant resumes operations, an important balance will also be restored among Colorado River water users. The generating station does not consume water, but commands important flows in the Colorado River, which benefit fish, rafters and a multitude of other Western Slope water users.The plant is one of seven hydroelectric power plants owned and operated by Xcel Energy in Colorado.
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