Montana utility commissions energy recovery hydro scheme

A newly-commissioned hydropower project is allowing Montana-Dakota Utilities to reclaim energy it would have otherwise lost.

Located near Sheridan, Montana, U.S., the plant generates 240 kW of electricity via a 30-inch water transmission line in the Beckton Hall pressure reducing station. The facility includes a single turbine, manufactured by Canyon Hydro, with installation and infrastructure work performed by local company Fletcher Construction.

City officials officially inaugurated the facility during a ceremony earlier this week, capping close to two decades’ worth of discussion and development.

Montana-Dakota Utilities first began considering the addition of an energy recovery system in the early 2000s, though costs were prohibitive at the time. Manufacturing costs and modifications to the original plan made the project economically feasible, however, leading to $1.25 million in funding from the state’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

Learn more about energy recovery hydro
Energy recovery hydropower has the potential to be a revenue-generator for many utilities in the U.S., though growth in this untapped sector has been slow.

A recent article by Kurt Johnson, president of the Western Small Hydro Association, in Hydro Review magazine details how legislation passed in 2013 could help spur the energy recovery market, and what developers can do to better exploit its potential.
 

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