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Crystal Dam and Powerplant

Crystal Dam and Powerplant

Plant Contact: Donald K. Phillips, Manager, Curecanti Field Division
Telephone Numbers: Phone: (970) 240-6300
Fax: (970) 240-6304
E-Mail Address: dphillips@uc.usbr.gov
Reclamation Region: Upper Colorado
NERC Region: Western Electricity Coordinating Council, Rocky Mountain Power Area
PMA Service Area: Western Area Power Administration, Colorado River Storage Project Management Center
Project Authorization: The Congress authorized construction of four storage units in the Colorado River Storage Project and 11 participating projects on April 11, 1956, under Public Law 485, 84th Congress, 70 Stat. 105. Additional projects have been added since the original legislation was adopted.
Project Purposes: The Colorado River Storage Project provides for the comprehensive development of the Upper Colorado River Basin. The project furnishes the long-time regulatory storage needed to permit States in the upper basin to meet their flow obligation at Lees Ferry, Arizona, as defined in the Colorado River Compact and still use their apportioned water.
Plant Facts: The Crystal Powerplant was completed in 1978. It initially had a generating capacity of 28,000 kilowatts from one unit driven by a 39,000-horsepower hydraulic turbine. It is connected to the main Colorado River Storage Project transmission system at the Curecanti substation by a 115-kilovolt line.
Plant Purpose: Generation of hydroelectric power for use in the project.
Plant History: Transformer KRA was replaced in fiscal year 1996. Outlet tube No.2 was repaired in 2001. Governor and the station service transformer were replaced in 2002 and 2003 respectively. Generator was shut down during the winter of 2002-2003 due to lack of water. Unit was uprated to 31,500 kilowatts in 2004
Present Activities: Design and repair of penstock gate stem holding system is scheduled for 2003-2004. Lightning arrestors on the 115 KV cable are to be changed, and scheduled for 2003-2004. Remote main breaker racking devices is to be installed in 2003-2004.
Future Planned Activities: None.
Special Issues: This plant is used for control of the water flow in the Gunnison River. At least 1 MW is used to control flow variations caused by reservoir level changes.
River: Gunnison River
Plant Type: Conventional
Powerhouse Type: Above Ground
Turbine Type: Francis
Original Nameplate Capacity: 28,000 kW
Installed Capacity: 31,500 kW
Year of Initial Operation: 1978
Age: 27 years
Net Generation:
(FY 2005)
137,950,098 kWh
Rated Head: 207 feet
Annual Plant Factor:
(FY 2005)
50.42 percent
Remotely Operated: Yes
Production Mode: Base Load

Click here for graphs and charts of Crystal Powerplant performance.

Click here for information on Crystal Dam.

Click here for information on the Colorado River Storage Project.

Revised December 28, 2005            Hydropower Site Map             Help