A small hydropower project has been awarded a grant through the "Advancing Colorado's Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency" (ACRE3) program. The project will generate electricity as water flows to the field through irrigation pipelines.
The funding is part of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The RCPP small hydropower program provides funding for technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers to install and maintain projects that address natural resource concerns in Colorado.
"The program addresses water quantity, water quality, and energy resource concerns by helping farmers upgrade outdated and labor intensive flood irrigation systems to more efficient pressurized irrigation systems using hydropower, or retrofit existing sprinkler systems with a hydropower component," said Sam Anderson, CDA's energy specialist. "Over the next three years, the project plans to install 30 hydro-mechanical or hydro-electric power systems across Colorado."
Susan Raymond of Hotchkiss will receive $11,400 to install hydro-electric turbines for generating 8 kW through a net-metering agreement with Delta-Montrose Electric Association. The hydropower will produce electricity to run three center pivots on 37 acres and provide electricity for an onsite veterinary practice.
In addition, Raymond's project and a family farm in Kersey will receive combined funding of $28,100 from the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) and additional funding from the USDA's Rural Development REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) Program. The two grant recipients will use the funding to pay for the hydro turbines, improvements to the irrigation systems and pipelines, and water management planning.
CDA is currently accepting applications for the next round of RCPP Irrigation Hydro Projects and will award funding for six more projects this year. For more information and to submit an application, visit the Colorado Department of Agriculture's ACRE3 energy website: www.colorado.gov/agconserva
tion/agriculturalhydro or contact Sam Anderson at 303-869-9044 or Sam.Anderson@state.co.us. The application deadline is May 13.