The 45 Mile Hydroelectric Project
In the Spring of 2015, Earth By Design successfully commissioned the 45 Mile Hydroelectric Project in Central Oregon. The project is a 2.999 MW, Run-Of-Canal hydropower facility constructed along the North Unit Main Canal. EBD performed the feasibility, due diligence, permitting, building, and licensing for this project. The success of the 45 Mile Project highlights EBD's efficiency and ability to build new, renewable energy projects in a climate littered with obstacles ranging from environmental mitigation to complex, unforeseen issues.
As an innovative solution to the development of hydropower, EBD utilized irrigation waters from the North Unit Main Canal. Water is temporarily diverted from the canal for use in generating power and is immediately returned back into the canal for continued, uninterrupted use of irrigating more than 50,000 acres in Central Oregon. Completed in the early 20th Century, the North Unit Main Canal diverts water from the Deschutes River, during the irrigation season, approximately 65 miles north into Jefferson County where crops are grown that help support a global economy.
According to the 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture, Jefferson County ranks No. 24 out of 583 U.S. counties that produce field and grass seed crops. Supporting the farming efforts of Jefferson County, the North Unit Main Canal was upgraded between 1998 to 1999, lining the first 12 miles of canal using roller-compacted concrete. The 45 Mile Project provided an upgrade to one of the Canal's regulating facilities further supporting this effort. The temporary diversion of water is an additional conservation measure that prolongs the life of the Main Canal and reduces water seepage.
Partnering with Apple, Inc., EBD successfully worked through the regulatory and environmental permitting process bringing the project to fruition. Dedicated to clean energy, EBD utilized innovative and unique hydroelectric turbines to optimize the efficiency and output while reducing the costs for a hydropower facility located in an irrigation canal. Partnering with Noesis Engineering Services, P.C., EBD completed a successful interconnection, transmitting power directly to the grid to help Oregon meet its renewable energy goals.