Shoshone to power up in the spring |

Shoshone to power up in the spring

Post Independent Staff
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The Shoshone hydroelectric plant won’t be back in operation until the beginning of spring 2008, Xcel Energy announced Thursday.

The 98-year-old plant, located on the Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon, was shut down on June 20 after one of the large pipes that deliver water to the plant ruptured, causing water and debris to flood the plant. About eight feet of water and several tons of rock and soil rushed into the station.

The shutdown didn’t result in a loss of service for residential customers.

Xcel Energy has determined that the rupture was caused by corrosion on the exterior of the section of pipe that was buried underground. Repairs will cost an estimated $12 million, and will include repairing and upgrading both large penstocks. Crews will begin construction in September.

“The Shoshone station is a key part of our fleet, providing 14 megawatts of economical, clean, renewable power for our Colorado customers,” said Lou Matis, vice president of operations, in a press release. “We appreciate the patience of other Colorado River water users, and the cooperation of the Colorado Department of Transportation and emergency responders during the event.”

The Colorado River District has announced a plan to keep enough water in the Colorado River to benefit rafting companies and endangered fish this summer.

Water flows of 1,200 cubic feet per second in Glenwood Canyon will be maintained through Labor Day for the rafting industry; flows of 810 cfs will be kept through October for endangered fish in the Grand Junction area.

Conservation group Trout Unlimited has, however, expressed concern about what will happen to water levels after Oct. 31.

Once the plant resumes operation, the historical balance among Colorado River water users will be restored. The generating station does not consume water, but commands important flows in the Colorado River, which benefit fish, rafters and multitudes of other Western Slope water users.

Shoshone is one of seven hydroelectric power plants owned and operated by Xcel Energy in Colorado.