U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Water Power Program

DOE-Supported New Mexico Hydropower Project Begins Operation

May 4, 2011

Photo of a dam with some workers and equipment in the foreground

The Abiquiu Low-Flow Turbine Hydropower Project in New Mexico has added a low-flow, more efficient turbine that has begun operations.
Credit: Courtesy of Los Alamos County

The Abiquiu Low-Flow Turbine Hydropower Project in northern New Mexico, which is the first completed hydropower project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, started operations on April 21. The project received a $4.5 million Recovery Act grant from DOE's Wind and Water Power Program that was leveraged with $4.5 million from the private sector. The low-flow turbine will increase renewable energy generation capacity by 22% at the Abiquiu Hydroelectric Facility, boosting its output from 13.8 megawatts (MW) to 16.8 MW. The new turbine will produce enough energy to power 1,100 homes annually and will supply clean energy to Los Alamos County, including DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The 3-MW turbine-generator was installed by the Los Alamos County Department of Public Utilities at the Abiquiu facility on the Rio Chama River in New Mexico. DOE's Wind and Water Power Program works to improve the performance, lower the costs, and accelerate the deployment of innovative wind and water power technologies. See the DOE press release.