Cabin Creek is a pumped storage hydroelectric plant located high in the Rocky Mountains at 10,018 feet above sea level near Georgetown, Colo. Water is supplied from two reservoirs totaling almost 2,000 acre-feet, enough for full load operation for both units for four hours. During periods of peak electricity demand on Xcel Energy’s Colorado system, electricity is generated by releasing water from the upper reservoir through a tunnel, which turns the turbine generators. The water is then stored in the lower reservoir. In the early hours of the morning when electricity use by the company’s customers is low, water is pumped back to the upper reservoir. Cabin Creek has the ability to respond to increases in customer demand quicker than any other plant on our system. It is classified as a facility required for reliable operation of the grid.
In 1968, the company received the Edison Electric Institute’s highest honor, the Edison Award, in recognition of the plant's innovative pumped storage technology.
Cabin Creek uses water as a clean renewable resource. As we bring additional wind power onto our Colorado system, Cabin Creek can help us better utilize this resource. The pumping of water from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir can be timed when wind generators are producing more power.
Cabin Creek hosts and participates in annual drills with local emergency responders. The plant offers public tours and employee volunteers have supported a variety of local community events.
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