The project operates by routing water from an intake on Packers Creek
to a Pelton turbine in the powerhouse. Two automated injectors
regulate the amount of electricity generated by adjusting the water flow
to the turbine. The hydraulic response time of the penstock is too
slow for the injectors alone to regulate turbine output to match
community load. A water-cooled load bank is included with the
switchgear and controls to improve the system response to load changes.
When water flow in Packers Creek is insufficient to meet community
electrical demand with the hydroelectric project, the turbine-generator
will operate in parallel with the existing diesel power plant.
The benefits of this project include alleviation of some economic
hardships, elimination of thousands of gallons of diesel, heating of
school or other local structures by excess energy, improvements to local
infrastructure such as freezer/processing facility, and reduction of the
needs of hauling, storing and consuming fossil fuels.
The project has been running since spring of 2015 and now
provides 94 percent of the community's energy, saving the town about
$500 a day on fuel costs.