Renewable Energy in the High Country
The thought of Hydro Power has been at the forefront of many scientists’ minds as well as many communities’ efforts. To try to stop using fossil fuels and go in a cleaner direction is something towns and cities across the Country have been attempting. A small town in the High Country may be one of the first to provide the true blue print to harness the power of water.
In a small Mountain town right outside of Silverton Colorado, lies not a huge dammed up river, but a small generator pumping water out of a small mountain river. A small generator no larger than a wheel barrel is pulling water from this mountain stream and providing power for ten mountain homes.
The idea of mega dams and mega power are becoming smaller as technology and research surfaces more prevalently. As the small generator outside of Silverton proves that it only takes a small river in order to power any of the local homes. Places such as the Hoover Dam and other dams will still be providing a lot of power for their local areas, just suggests dams are not needed to harness the power of water.
Instead, a fledgling industry is taking shape, focused on putting small electricity generation on already existing non-powered hydro infrastructure. It’s a flurry of new economic activity for which Congress can take much credit, and it’s an issue with opportunity for further political compromise as Republicans take control in the U.S. Senate.
The new water power took hold of a historic mining mill. In the 20th century the mill was used for mining minerals out of the mountain. Using the high power water it would take away sections of the mountain in hopes to find valuable minerals. The mill has not been used for years, then fifteen years ago the historical society decided they wanted to use the pipeline to create hydro power.
In order to get the pipeline operational and get the correct generator there had to be federal licensing. This is the same licensing that dams such as the Hoover damn, or re-creating a dam such as the Hoover dam would take. After difficult deliberations lawmakers sided with the Historical Society giving them clearance to use the old mining equipment and the available generator.
Recently President Obama has signed into legislation giving smaller hydroelectric places more power and the ability to continue to do business without seeking a ton of monotonous federal funding. The legislation makes it easy to continue to provide power for small communities without hassle.
With the evolution and the need for new renewable energy, municipal areas are looking strongly into Hydro Electric. Places like Summit County and all new Real Estate would benefit greatly from the change. The Department of Energy estimates that if generators were put on all non-existing non powered dams it would create as much power as a dozen coal fired power plants, or enough energy for at least 4 million homes. Using the power of water and run off in Summit County, along with the initiatives to use solar energy the ways to use non- fossil fuels are immense for energy in your new high country home.