Officials reviewing hydropower project proposal at McKay Dam

The Associated Press

 

An eastern Oregon engineer says he's interested in producing hydro power at McKay Dam.

PENDLETON, Oregon (AP) — An eastern Oregon engineer says he's interested in producing hydro power at McKay Dam.

Bill Hampton submitted paperwork this month for permission to install a small generator and powerhouse at the dam near Pendleton, the East Oregonian reported (http://bit.ly/1UlCZTZ ).

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is studying the project to determine if it is environmentally and economically feasible. It could take several years to complete the permitting process.

Hampton says the McKay is one of many irrigation dams not being used to its full potential. McKay Dam has never been used for electricity, even though multiple people have looked into it over the years.

The dam has a capacity to hold more than 65,000 acre-feet of water and serves around 70 water users downstream. One acre-foot of water is about enough to serve two average households for a year.

"The water is going through the dam anyway," Hampton said. "Instead of having the water run through a valve, you have it run through a turbine. It has minimal impacts on the environment."

Boris Belchoff, Umatilla Field Office manager for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, says installing hydro power at McKay is tricky because water levels tend to drop after the irrigation season ends.

Furthermore, Robert Ross — an engineer with the agency based in Boise — says the project cannot interfere with existing irrigation water rights.

"Whatever they do, the public is not going to see a difference in the outflow of the dam," Ross said.

Hampton countered that his project would operate only from April to October, when water releases are still high enough to produce electricity.

"It's not a huge project, but it's a nice little development that could make the world a better place," he said.

 

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

Making DDoS Mitigation Part of Your Incident Response Plan: Critical Steps and Best Practices

Like a new virulent strain of flu, the impact of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is...

The Multi-Tax Challenge of Managing Excise Tax and Sales Tax

To be able to accurately calculate multiple tax types, companies must be prepared to continually ...

Operational Analytics in the Power Industry

Cloud computing, smart grids, and other technologies are changing transmission and distribution. ...

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>

Archived Articles

PennEnergy Articles
2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

OGJ Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

OGFJ Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

Power Engineering Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

Power Engineering Intl Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

Utility Products Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

HydroWorld Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

COSPP Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013

ELP Articles
2011 | 2012 | 2013