The Transcontinental Aqueduct. Leg 7: White Oaks Canyon Lake (to be made) to the Arch Lewis Canyon Lake via a 20 mile tunnel under the Guadaloupe Mountains in New Mexico.

Dam 1 dams the White Oaks Canyon Lake. It has a 2000 feet wide and up to 400 feet high dam, topping out at 5000 feet, and the lake holds a volume of up to 80,000 acre-ft of water.

Dam 2 dams the Last Chance Canyon Lake. It has a 2200 feet wide and up to 380 feet high dam, topping out at 5680 feet, and the lake holds a water volume of up to 35,000 acre-ft.

The Stage 7 is a tunnel, starting at 4600 feet and ending at 4492 feet maximum levels. The 20 mile long tunnel will drop 88 feet as it passes under the mountain.

Dam 3 dams the Upper Canyon Lake for lack of a better word. It has a 1600 feet wide and up to 240 feet high dam, topping out at 5200 feet, and the lake holds a volume of up to 15,000 acre-ft of water.

Dam 4 dams the Arch Lewis Canyon Lake for lack of a better word. It has a 3000 feet wide and up to 480 feet high dam, topping out at 4600 feet, and the lake holds a volume of up to 60,000 acre-ft of water.

Up to now all stages have pumped water up the mountains. This stage releases the hydroelectric water storage, and it does so even during peak power, so the water flows all 24 hours with peak electricity creation during peak usage. By now, the average flow is down to 19000 cfs , 24 hours a day. During off peak hours, 19000 cfs flows down the tunnel, the power generated is coming from Dam 1 with a water level of between 4980 feet and 4700 feet with an average of 4940 feet. The maximum output level of the water is 4640 feet, so a drop of 300 feet will generate a minimum of 450 MW of power, or 8.6 GWh/day. Part of this energy will be used to pump up the water to Dam 2 and 3. Dam 2 will pump 13,000 cfs of water from 4630 feet to between 5820 feet ans 5520 feet, (average 5760) for 19 hours, an average lift of 1,060 feet. This required a total of 6.2 GWh of energy per day , or 326 MW pf power. Dam 3 will pump 6,000 cfs of water from 4630 feet to between 5200 feet and 4930 feet, (average 5120) for 19 hours, an average lift of 520 feet. This required a total of 1.4 GWh of energy per day , or 74 MW pf power.

The net electricity generated during 19 off peak hours is 1.0 MW on average. The electricity generated during the 5 peak hours is 49,000 cfs at a drop of 1060 feet, or 1.16 GW, from dam 2. From dam 3 it will be 22,800 cfs at a drop of 520 feet, or 264 MW. From the 2 dams , total electricity is 1.42 GW. Total electricity generated during these 5 hours is 7.12 GWh. This assumes a 97% efficiency of the reversible pumps from Dam 2 and 3. The pumps from Dam 1 are not reversible.

The tunnel capacity between Dam 1 and Dam 2 outlets is 19,000 cfs, between Dam 2 and 3 it is 49,000 cfs, and from Dam 3 to its exit in Dam 4 it is 71,800 cfs.

Published by

lenbilen

Retired engineer, graduated from Chalmers Technical University a long time ago with a degree in Technical Physics. Career in Aerospace, Analytical Chemistry, computer chip manufacturing and finally adjunct faculty at Pennsylvania State University, taught just one course in Computer Engineering, the Capstone Course.

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