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Green energy option in Logan points to a need for regulation reform

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 3 2013 6:40 p.m. MST

Regulations in place also required Logan to use a U.S. vendor for its turbine, of which there was only one available that could make the size and type of turbine needed to accommodate Dewitt Springs, a naturally flowing fountain of pure water in Logan Canyon that provides about 70 percent of the city's water.

Houser said having just one bid didn't give the city much leverage when work began.

The project was estimated to help generate enough energy to power 185 local homes, a financial benefit of $67,284.06 per year.

"From a green energy perspective, it's a great idea. It's probably the most reliable form of energy you can find," Houser said. "It doesn't care if it's cloudy or sunny, and it doesn't rely on wind to work."

But even if it were to run continuously and at full capacity, which it doesn't because of varying flow rates during drought seasons, it would take the city more than 35 years to recoup its costs, according to the paper. That span matches a turbine's life cycle, which is about 30 to 35 years, Yonk said.

The city, which is glad to have the alternative/green power option up and running after years of paper and legwork, learned a lot of lessons that would make the process easier the next time around, Houser said, adding that he's already offered his candid advice to other cities seeking similar options.

But having used up its most ideal location for power generation, he said, Logan is not likely to go after such an ambitious project anytime soon.

Email: wleonard@deseretnews.com, Twitter: wendyleonards

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