Micro Hydroelectric Energy

Civil Solutions Group, Inc. recently completed a design project that has the potential to create 96 Kilowatt hours per day utilizing an existing stream and minimal elevation fall using micro hydroelectric technology. Hydroelectric power is created by water turning a turbine that creates energy. To put that amount of power into perspective, 96 Kilowatt hours per day will power 3.7 average homes in Utah according to the average residential power usage. This system will create power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week as long as water is running in the stream. The following summaries the project details.

As the leader in sustainable engineering and planning Civil Solutions Group, Inc. was retained by a landowner near Smithfield, Utah to study the feasibility of installing hydroelectric turbines on Summit Creek to create energy for his home, stables, barns, and future energy use. Summit Creek had an average flow rate of 30-32 cubic feet per second of water flow during September 2009. Historic records show that the creek sustains a stable flow rate of water during the last 25 years. The project will utilize approximately 8 cubic feet per second of water, well below the historic flow rates.

Typical hydroelectric systems require large elevations drop or vast amounts of water, but this particular site only had approximately 12-ft of elevation drop along the owner’s property. Utilizing an ES&D LH-1000 turbine the limited amount of elevation drop and relatively small flow rate in the creek was overcome to create up to 96 Kilowatt hours per day!

The wonderful aspect of a renewable energy project such as micro hydroelectricity is that no water is consumed during the power generation process. This means that the State of Utah can issue a non-consumptive water right. A stream alteration permit must also be obtained to install the necessary improvements for the system. Overall the amount of permits, process, and applications are minimal for the opportunity to create vast amounts of power. Rocky Mountain Power is the power provider for the owner’s property.

Rocky Mountain Power is very supportive of their net metering program, which allows users to create their own power and feed the power back into the power system. Rocky Mountain Power gives the users credits for power that is created beyond their power usage and the credits can be used for up to one calendar year.

Civil Solutions Group, Inc. is very passionate about renewable engineering and planing. If you are interested in more information about hydroelectric, solar, or wind power design and feasibility please email info@civilsolutionsgroup.net or call at 435.213.3762 for your complimentary preliminary analysis.