Pacific Power has completed work on its 22-kW Wallowa Falls small hydro plant and will hold an open house on Sept. 28.
The turbine-generator unit is located in a small log cabin nestled amongst the campgrounds, snow-capped mountains and gleaming waters of Wallowa Lake State Park. The powerhouse, which contains a Canyon Pelton wheel and induction generator, will use the flow of the existing municipal water supply line near the head of Wallowa Lake to generate a continuous source of electricity, Pacific Power says.
Pacific Power, Wallowa Resources Community Solutions Inc., Wallowa Lake State Park, and the Energy Trust of Oregon helped bring the project to the park.
“Wallowa Lake’s micro hydro project highlights how we can work together to grow renewable energy resources right here in our own backyard,” said Lori Wyman, Pacific Power’s regional business manager based in eastern Oregon. “Through our partners and our own Blue Sky participants, this project will support our community for years to come, and hopefully inspire the park’s many visitors too.”
Annually, the new facility is expected to generate around 150,000 kWH of clean energy — enough to offset about 85% of the power needed to pump fresh drinking water to 160 nearby homes and businesses. Pacific Power’s Blue Sky customers provided $60,000 in funding as part of its community project grant program, which supports community-based solar, wind, geothermal and renewable energy projects across Pacific Power’s service area. The project also received an $80,000 incentive from Energy Trust.
“This project is a great example of using existing infrastructure and a local renewable resource to save energy dollars for the community and generate clean local energy,” said Kyle Petrocine, renewable energy program manager, Wallowa Resources.