Monday, February 4, 2013

Yellowstone goes green with hydropower

Yellowstone, the world's oldest national park, is not only known for rich wildlife but also for abundance of renewable energy resources at its disposal, such as geothermal energy (the Old Faithful Geyser). But Yellowstone isn't just geothermal energy; this area also has very good hydro resources, and the best proof to this is a new hydroelectric power plant on the Gardiner River.

This hydroelectric facility should average 180 kilowatts factoring in downtime and periods of low flow on the river. Peter Gallindo, project manager and a Yellowstone engineer already announced that this project will save Yellowstone about $70,000 in electricity.

He also added that the „water flows 560 feet downhill from the Gardiner River, Panther Creek and Indian Creek water intakes. An existing storage reservoir at Mammoth’s water treatment plant supplies a turbine through an existing 12-inch pipe.

The costs of this hydroelectric power plant were said to be at $1.1 million. In terms of payback, this project should pay for itself in 12 years time. The funds were secured through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The environmentalists should also be happy about it as this project is said to have minimal impact on park resources. This project is the first since the 1950s that is enabling the park to generate some of its own electricity.

More interesting info about Yellowstone:

It was established in 1872.

Primarily located in the state of Wyoming.

Covers an area of of 3,468.4 square miles.

It has over 1,700 native plant species and 60 species of mammals.

At least 2 million tourists visits the park each year.