Posted: Nov 1, 2009 5:20 AM by Associated Press
A Colorado ranch owner plans to use a federal grant and loan to build a "micro-hydroelectric" plant and
sell the power back to a utility. Ruthie Brown of Aspen says the plant will use a dam her great-grandfather built 90 years ago on the ranch near Creede in south-central Colorado.
She projects a small profit after the first year. She says the income will help maintain the ranch and keep it undeveloped. Brown says she got a $308,000 grant and a $600,000 low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to finance the 340-kilowatt plant.
For comparison, Xcel Energy's new coal-fired power plant undergoing tests in Pueblo can generate 750 megawatts, or about 2,200 times as much electricity. Brown expects her plant to be completed in 2011.