The project uses the difference in elevation of the existing District water supply system to power a 1.1 MW hydroelectric power facility with an average annual energy production of approximately 4,023 MWh. A portion of the flow of Upper Vernon Creek is diverted at an existing intake, through a 3200 m long existing pipeline which currently discharges to the Eldorado reservoir. A 30 m long penstock connects the existing pipeline to the powerhouse, after which water is discharged through the tailrace into the Eldorado Reservoir. For more details view the Concept and Background Information.
The Eldorado Reservoir is a balancing reservoir constructed between Upper Vernon Creek and Beaver Lake Road approximately 4 km east of Highway 97. The reservoir is currently fed by stream flows from Upper Vernon Creek via the existing water supply pipeline. From the reservoir, water is distributed to District customers; any excess water (i.e. not required for distribution) is returned to Upper Vernon Creek immediately downstream of Clark Creek via an overflow pipe and channel.
A Case Study report (and appendix package) was created by the District of Lake Country and the Green Energy as a Rural Development Tool Project to provide this more detailed case study information. As a result of the success of the project, the District receives numerous requests for information on the project. Other local governments and First Nations throughout BC are increasingly examining the feasibility of developing and investing in micro-hydro power projects and are interested in learning from existing successful examples. The Green Municipal Fund Project Completion Report provides all the details of the project.