Loma Rica Hydroelectric Facility Project
The Project Discreption: The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) is studying the feasibility to construct a hydroelectric turbine near the Loma Rica Water Treatment Plant (LRWTP). The Loma Rica Hydroelectric Station will generate power from raw water ﬂowing through the existing 48-inch diameter Banner Cascade Pipeline (BCP), which was constructed to provide a reliable replacement for the Lower Cascade Canal. The BCP is the lower elevation portion of a piping system that conveys water from Deer Creek to the LRWTP, the Loma Rica Reservoir, and also the Elizabeth George Water Treatment Plant (EGWTP). The upper portion of the piping system includes the Upper and Lower Bench Pipelines, the Cascade Shores Siphon, and the Clipper Creek Siphon. Normal operating water surface elevation at the Deer Creek Intake is 3,630 feet above mean sea level, and the elevation of the weir in the stilling basin at the terminus of the BCP is 3,167 feet, providing approximately 463 feet of available head that could be used to generate hydroelectric power. Flow in the BCP is controlled by the Loma Rica Control Facility (LRCF), which consist of two parallel sleeve valves that dissipate energy prior to discharging into a stilling basin adjacent to the Lower Cascade Canal just upstream of the Loma Rica Reservoir.
NID is in the planning stages of the project to assess the viability of the facility. Upon favorable review from other agencies, the next phase would be the design and permitting and the eventual construction of a hydroelectric station near the LRCF to utilize raw water deliveries through the BCP to generate and sell power. Although the goal of the project would be to maximize the amount of electricity that can be produced, the primary function of the BCP is to deliver raw water to NID treatment plants and customers, and the hydroelectric station cannot have a negative effect on the overall safety, efficiency, and reliability of the water operations. The proposed hydroelectric station would therefore be located in parallel with the existing LRCF so that if the hydroelectric station is off-line, normal operations would not be affected.