- Courtesy Springs Utilities
An agreement signed Aug. 11 between the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation clears the way for construction to begin next month on a 7.5-megawatt hydroelectric power plant at Pueblo Dam. District Executive Director Jim Broderick said in a release that work on the project started in 2011 and brings a sustainable income stream for the district while developing a clean power source. The contractor is Mountain States Hydro, LLC. The plant goes online next spring.
For the first 10 years, the city of Fountain and Colorado Springs Utilities will buy the power from the plant. Utilities' purchase will be used at Fort Carson. Fountain will then buy all of the power from the plant thereafter for at least 20 years. The plant's cost of $19 million will be paid via revenue from power sales.
The conservancy district, which covers portions of nine counties, including El Paso County, was created in 1958 to develop and oversee the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project. Pueblo Reservoir is part of the Fry-Ark project and supplies water for irrigation, municipal and industrial uses. The district levies .94 of a mill in property taxes, or 94 cents in taxes for every $1,000 in assessed valuation.