Thursday, October 28, 2010

posted 3/08

The City filed a change application for use of its Water Reservation. The purpose of this was to allow up to 3,200 gallons per minute and up to 5,165 acre feet per year for use at the Highwood Generating Station.

PPL Montana filed an objection. How could they not? They run hydroelectric generation facilities on the Missouri River.

However, on July 16, 2007, that objection was withdrawn, as a result of a settlement agreement between PPL, SME, and the City of Great Falls. I will get it online, but for now I am going to quotes items 5, 6 and part of 9.

5. At any time the amount of water returned to the city at the Highwood return point is less than twenty five percent (25%) of the amount of water that is diverted at the Morony p.o.d., PPL shall be provided with mitigation measures in accordance with the side agreement between PPL, the City and SME, which are set forth in paragraph 9.

6. the total volume of water that can be diverted in an calendar year at the Morony p.o.d. under this change authorization shall not exced 3,999 acre feet. If, for whatever reason, the Higwood Generating Station requires any additional volume of water at the Morony p.o.d. in any calendar year, that additional water must come from another water right or rights.

9. (d) for each month within which there is Lost Generation amount, SME shall, before the end of the subsequent calendar month, make a payment to PPL that compensates PPL for the monetary value of the Lost Generation Amount for the prior calendar month.

So, in addition to not having access to the entire amount of water Highwood actually needs to operate, we are now required to return 25% of the water we do get to use to the river. How? In the SME scoping documents which are part of the final EIS, it notes that if the plant uses 2500 gpm, it will return 175 gpm. That is not even close to 25%. We would have to have a return of 625 gpm. Of course, the plant is expected to use closer to 3,200 gpm. We will be paying PPL for use of our own water and Highwood will be using water from another water right.

Cost based power just got a little more expensive.

From the documents GeeGuy just posted, I have deduced this Settlement Agreement never went before the City Commission. I wonder who wrote it.

To be continued...

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