Date of Award

Fall 2016

Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Noriaki Ohara


The purpose of this project was to fulfill the design criteria for the CE 4900 Senior Design in Water Resources class at the University of Wyoming. The assigned project was to design a renewable energy pumped-storage facility that includes a hydroelectric dam to create green electricity by emptying an upper reservoir into a lower reservoir. During the early hours of morning when the energy consumption is low, as shown in Figure 1, the upper reservoir will be pumped full from the lower reservoir, using energy that is not being used and cannot be stored efficiently. The main idea of this project was to provide people with green electricity while utilizing excess electricity that would otherwise be wasted.

For this project Team D proposed a renewable energy pumped-storage facility approximately 20 miles upstream from Thermopolis, Wyoming, utilizing Boysen Reservoir as the lower reservoir in the design. The design consist of the additional upper reservoir right next to the existing Boysen Reservoir. The new upper reservoir will be pumped from the Boysen Reservoir during the low energy demand period, and then during peak energy usage the water will flow through the penstock in the dam, into a Francis Turbine, where the energy will be generated and collected. Once the reservoir is recessed down one quarter of its overall capacity, the facility will then begin to recharge the upper reservoir using Boysen Reservoir’s water supply. This will take place during the time of low electricity usage which is generally between the hours of 12 am and 8 am, allowing eight hours of recharge.