Letter: Is it possible to divert water to produce electricity in Red Deer?

The province of Alberta is giving the city of Red Deer $49.2 million to upgrade their wastewater treatment plant. To handle the wastewater created throughout the region.

This is a multi-year multi-faceted project that will culminate in treating 72,000 cubic metres of waste daily in 2026. That is a lot of water being pumped into the river in one spot.

There will be years in the planning and designing stage before construction begins. Is there any room in that schedule to contemplate a small turbine or two to produce electricity? Is it at all possible to ask experts if it is possible to divert some of that water to run a hydro-electric turbine to produce electricity to some extent, possibly enough to run a pump or a few lights?

Turbines are about eight times more efficient now than they were a few years ago, how efficient could they be in seven years?

Portland installed turbines in their water pipes to produce electricity, so I am sure they asked the experts, got a feasibility study, studied the cost/benefit analysis before proceeding.

Will Red Deer even consider asking the experts? No, they asked once, years ago, it wasn’t feasible then, so it is not feasible now, no matter how far they have come in efficiencies and costs. End of story. How sad.

I just thought the city could look at future cost savings, perhaps reduce their reliance on non-renewable resources, and look at possible options to get the greatest return on this generous gift from the province. That may be too much to ask.

But I am asking.

​Garfield Marks​,

Red Deer

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