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Flexible hydropower: boosting energy

New hydroelectric resource for Northern New Mexico supplies clean energy to homes, businesses and the Lab.
January 30, 2014
Flexible hydropower: boosting energy

Abiquiu Dam's low-flow turbine for hydroelectric generation creates a flexible energy source when water levels are lower or higher than usual.

Energy sustainability is a daunting task: How do we develop top-notch innovations with some of the world’s most powerful technology without consuming excessive energy or creating waste?

New hydroelectric resource for Northern New Mexico supplies clean energy to homes, businesses and the Lab

We know a lot of power is required at the Lab to support our national security science, and we’re committed to finding ways to incorporate more renewable energy and reduce our carbon footprint.

In addition to the collaborative Smart Grid Technology Test Bed, Los Alamos and partners helped develop other ways to generate renewable power to support self-sufficiency.

The new hydroelectric resource, Los Alamos County’s low-flow three-megawatt turbine at nearby Abiquiu Lake, produces enough energy to power 1,100 homes annually and will supply clean energy to the County and the Laboratory.

This new turbine type is able to operate when water levels are too low or too high to work with the two existing turbines, boosting the facility’s renewable energy generation capacity by 22 percent.

When the turbine was completed in 2011, then-DOE-Secretary Steven Chu remarked, “Today marks a major milestone in securing America's clean energy future as we celebrate the completion of the Department of Energy's first major Recovery Act-funded water power project.”

“The Abiquiu Low-Flow Turbine Hydropower Project highlights the clean energy potential and local economic benefits that come with the environmentally responsible use of our rivers."



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