Kleinschmidt to work on Orr Ditch hydro project

31 January 2022

Kleinschmidt Associates is to support the Orr Ditch Hydroelectric Project in Nevada, US, as it moves forward to final design and construction after being selected by Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) to provide engineering services.

TMWA and Kleinschmidt have worked together over the last four years to study and advance the project that will generate renewable hydropower for use at TMWA’s largest water treatment plant. This project will save TMWA energy costs and provide clean power to a key part of TMWA’s water treatment and delivery system.

“It’s so exciting to be able to use existing infrastructure to bring renewable hydropower onto the grid efficiently,” said Mike Parker, Engineering Market Leader at Kleinschmidt, “Systems like TMWA’s Orr Ditch Hydroelectric Project are part of a more significant trend of bringing hydropower online at existing nonpowered dams and conduits. These systems can have attractive project economics and have a streamlined permitting process through FERC’s Qualifying Conduit Hydropower Facility program. This combination of great value and simplified development makes this project a great opportunity and long-term value for water authorities and other owners.

Kleinschmidt was first approached by Brent Eisert, TMWA Hydroelectric Generation Manager back in 2018 with the concept of this project.  “The project will utilize existing infrastructure and unused canal capacity for driving two new generators located below TMWA’s Chalk Bluff Water Treatment Plant.”, said Eisert, “Kleinschmidt was instrumental with their guidance through the approval process for the Qualifying Conduit Facility program and are continuing as a consultant assisting with the design of the new facility.  Not only will this project provide for a reduction in annual energy costs, but it will also serve as a clean renewable backup energy source for the water treatment plant and will help in assuring the Reno-Sparks community a supply of high-quality drinking water.”

The project’s final design began in early 2022, with an estimated completion date of late 2023.


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