New plant under construction

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – The Orchard Mesa Irrigation District hosted a ceremony for the construction of the new power plant.

The Grand Valley Power Plant was shut down during today’s groundbreaking ceremony as construction of the new Vinelands hydroelectric plant began.

Max Schmidt, Orchard Mesa Irrigation District Manager, says it was time to unplug.

“We have taken over the operation of the old power station, it is 90 years old and was built in 1932, and it is completely worn out. We will close it today, hopefully for the last time, ”Schmidt said.

This new plant will make it possible to produce more electricity at the same rates.

“I can rebuild it for 3.5 megawatts, but if I build a brand new power plant for 4.54 megawatts. It will produce an additional four megawatts. Three megawatts are enough to power the town of Palisade, ”Schmidt said.

We are told that building a new factory is a win-win situation for the community.

“The first is that it provides additional water for recreation from the start of the Colorado River to Lake Pal. Second, it provides clean energy production, which we all know is a necessary thing. Third, it provides water for the 50 mile range, ”said Rob Talbott, Orchard Mesa Irrigation District President.

Once the water has passed through the plant, we are told it will return to the Colorado River.

The project has been under construction for about five years.

“We had to get funds for the financing. About 65 to 70 percent of this project is funded by grants. Second, we were working with various agencies. We needed to have the ability to sell the electricity to a buyer who is willing to pay adequate charges for the electricity we needed to work with the salvage office, ”said Talbott.

Sorenson Engineering will build the Vinelands power plant and the energy will be used by Holy Cross Energy.

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