Micro Hydroelectric Opportunities for Ditch Companies (Full Day)

Please Contact DARCA at (970) 412-1960 for more information on scheduling this on-site workshop. All full day workshops are $1000.

Micro Hydropower Overview    Micro Hydropower Opportunities is a pre-convention workshop before the 8th Annual DARCA Convention in Durango, February 10-12, 2010. The workshop will cover best management practices and strategies for successfully implementing and maintaining micro hydropower systems for dam owners and operators. Micro hydropower typically refers to hydro systems with a capacity of up to approximately 300 kilowatts (kW). Hydropower is based on simple concepts. Moving water turns a turbine, the turbine spins a generator, and electricity is produced. Water is diverted from a stream into a pipeline, where it is directed downhill and through the turbine (flow). The vertical drop (head) creates pressure at the bottom end of the pipeline. The pressurized water emerging from the end of the pipe creates the force that drives the turbine. More flow or more head produces more electricity.

This workshop will begin with a brief Micro Hydropower tutorial followed by a series of topics including:

  • Permitting and Legal Considerations
  • Engineering
  • Financial Opportunities and Constraints

This workshop will include a discussion of a micro hydropower project feasibility study that would incorporate an assessment of environmental constraints/permitting, engineering analysis/equipment selection, and an economic analysis to determine if the project is financially-attractive and viable. Economic assessment portion of this topic will estimate the capital costs for a hydro unit including installation, and operating costs to generate a cash flow analysis, the rate of return expected from the project owner’s investment, and the number of years until payback of the money spent to build the project.

Finally, the funding analysis topic will evaluate ways of accessing capital to pay for the project’s installation. Sources of capital would be loans secured by the revenue generated from the project’s energy sales, federal and state guaranteed loans and grants, and tax incentives for renewable energy.