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Rosebud Creek Hydro

East Rosebud Creek bigskyfishing.com

I’m not entirely up to speed on this, but the timeline is kind of short, so here’s what I know. The Billings Gazette reports that Hydrodynamics Inc. of Bozeman is proposing building two small hydropower projects on East and West Rosebud Creeks near Roscoe. They have filed for preliminary permits to do some drilling and scoping for the projects. Both projects are pretty similar, here are the specs for West Rosebud:

The proposed project would consist of the following: (1) a new 8-foot-high, 100-foot-long concrete diversion dam; (2) a new 7-foot-wide, 30-foot-long intake extending from the left side of the dam; (3) a new 42-inch diameter, 2.3-mile-long steel penstock; (4) a new powerhouse containing one generating unit with an installed capacity of 3 megawatts; (5) a new tailrace discharging flows into West Rosebud Creek; (6) a new substation; (7) a new 50-kilovolt, 300-foot-long transmission line; and (8) appurtenant facilities. The proposed project would have an average annual generation of 21 gigawatt-hours.

Both streams are excellent high-mountain habitat. The projects could run the hazard of dewatering portions of the creeks during low flows not to mention the disruption of roads, powerhouses, transmission lines and construction sediments. Here is the proposal by Hydrodynamics. You can see the permit applications by doing a search on the FERC website. The Docket numbers are P-13531 for East Rosebud and P-13532 for West Rosebud. Sub docket is 000 for both. Comments are only open until Dec. 21, as the permits were filed in October. Big Sky Fishing has a good overview writeup on Rosebud Creek.

I’m all for clean power, but I’m not sure we need to be chopping up what’s left of our small mountain streams for a few megawatts of electricity. The Bugle will be all over this issue and we will keep you updated when/if the projects move forward.

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