Oregon trust names firm for hydro technology, market assessment

Energy Trust of Oregon has named a consulting firm to conduct a hydropower technology and market assessment for use in creating a hydropower investment program in Oregon.

Energy Trust said it awarded a $60,000 contract to Summit Blue Consulting LLC of Boulder, Colo., which submitted a proposal in response to a solicitation. (HNN 7/1/08) Summit Blue is to complete the work in mid-December.

Energy Trust wants the assessment to develop:
o An understanding of technologies, project types, configurations, and associated costs appropriate to hydropower development in Oregon; and
o An understanding of conditions, barriers, and opportunities for forming a functional hydropower installation program and market in Oregon.

The trust wants a list of potential project development opportunities. It also wants information on non-commercial emerging technologies related to in-stream hydropower, such as hydrokinetic turbines and vortex systems, not including ocean energy.

Energy Trust is a non-profit corporation that invests state funds in renewable energy and energy efficiency under an agreement with the Oregon Public Utility Commission. It currently supports new hydropower projects and increases in existing capacity of up to 20 MW through its open solicitation program for renewables. The trust noted it can support increases of up to 20 MW in larger plants, such as adding 20 MW to an existing 100-MW project.

As it now stands, Energy Trust reviews hydro projects individually, determining the level of support on a case-by-case basis. The trust said it is interested in determining whether standard levels of support are feasible across various hydropower size classes. It also is interested in barriers and opportunities related to forming a hydropower installation program and market.

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