Friday, 13 January 2017


OLT's Hydroelectric Power Plant OLT's Hydroelectric Power Plant

The electricity generated by OLT's hydroelectric plant is finite. Grid power is miles away. We can make about 62 kilowatts of continuous power. When people turn up their cabin baseboard heaters, that uses electricity. When people cook on the stoves, that uses electricity. When the dryers in the laundry room are spinning, that uses electricity. Vehicle campers that plug into those sites with electricity use electricity. When the air temperature is in the single digits, the water in the pools loses heat more quickly. The heated pools are heated by the electricity that is left over after all the primary uses. When it's cold and breezy, the pools will not be as warm.

A few years ago we had drought conditions and we couldn't generate as much electricity because there was less volume of water. When we removed the wood stoves in the cabins in an effort to eliminate fire danger, the cabins were then heated exclusively with electric heat. Now the cabins are heated geothermally and the baseboard heaters are used mainly to boost the temperature on cold nights. There are other ideas in the works to more efficiently use the available power. We would like the heated pools to remain a constant temperature. However, there are still trade-offs. The fact remains, when we use electrical power in other places there is less to heat the water in the heated pools.

Last modified on Friday, 13 January 2017 04:46

Orient Land Trust is a nonprofit land trust
dedicated to the preservation of Valley View Hot Springs (VVHS) and its viewshed—
including natural and biologic resources, agricultural lands, wildlife habitat,
open space, and historic and geologic features of the northern San Luis Valley—
for the education and enjoyment of current and future generations.