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U.S. to seek private funds to boost Utah hydropower

Federal administrators plan to partner with private developers in efforts to speed up construction of hydroelectric power plants in Utah, wire services reported.

Reclamation recently completed a study that shows Utah has three of the top 15 potential hydropower sites in the West - all along the Diamond Fork pipeline in central Utah's Spanish Fork Canyon, reports indicate. 

The first request for proposals aims to develop hydropower at Central Utah Project's Spanish Fork Flow Control structure - a valve on the 8-foot diameter pipeline about eight miles southeast of Spanish Fork, the Associated Press reported.

Officials said construction could begin within a year and could create up to 50 jobs. The plant would produce enough electricity to power 2,000 homes, estimates suggest.

A Department of the Interior internal study shows the department could generate up to one million MWh of electricity annually and create jobs by adding hydropower capacity at 70 of its existing facilities.

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