Our Services

Overview

Operating under the jurisdiction and control of the Board of Public Utilities, the Los Alamos County Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is a customer service oriented municipal utility that provides electric, gas, water and sewer services for County residents and businesses and provides wholesale electric and water services to the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

 

A view through the pines of the hawk water tower from across the canyon

Electric

 

Electric Production & Supply

In 1985, the DPU and the Department of Energy formed a power pool through an Electric Coordination Agreement (ECA). This allowed the two entities to blend resources. Los Alamos County's resources under the ECA are as follows:

  • Laramie River Station entitlement (coal, 10 megawatts)
  • El Vado hydroelectric facility (renewable hydropower, 9 megawatts)
  • Abiquiu hydroelectric facility (renewable hydropower, 17 megawatts)
  • Los Alamos' Western Area Power Administration entitlement (renewable hydropower, 10 megawatts)
  • Photovoltaic array on East Jemez landfill site (renewable solar, 1 megawatt)
  • County transmission arrangements
  • County purchased power contracts
  • Power Purchase Agreement (mix of renewable wind, photovoltaic and coal, 45 megawatts)
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory's combustion turbine (natural gas, 25 megawatts)

The amounts listed are peak capacities. They are not representative of actual generation.


While the Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP) was previously scheduled for completion by 2030, the project was discontinued in November 2023. Historical information on this defunct long-term energy resource project can be found by clicking the button below.

CFPP


Electric Distribution

Los Alamos County's electric distribution network provides power to more than 8,500 ratepayers. Departmental priorities for maintenance and enhancements are assessed regularly. While no utility provider can ever guarantee that power will never be uninterrupted, the DPU’s goal is to keep outages to less than the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) for communities of our size as determined by the American Public Power Association. The APPA index for average, accumulated down time for a year that a customer could expect is 60 minutes. To realize this goal, the DPU developed an Electric Reliability Plan (developed in 2011 and updated regularly, most recently in 2014) based on data collected in a condition assessment report and continuing system inspections.


  

  

DPU's electric mascot

 

Power Outage Information

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Help us reduce hazards & outages

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The story of public power

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Gas

DPU's natural gas mascot

DPU provides more than 7,000 customers with natural gas in Los Alamos County. The Los Alamos natural gas distribution system includes 128 miles of mainline gas pipe, 83 miles of service lines, and 18 pressure regulating stations. The system is maintained to meet strict regulations of the Department of Transportation, New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Natural gas is purchased by both long-term and short-term contracts at market hub, then transported to Los Alamos by a pipeline operator for distribution. Long-term gas contracts are in place for price stabilization, including a gas pre-pay arrangement with the New Mexico Municipal Energy Acquisition Authority, through which annual savings may passed on to our customers.

 

 

Water

DPU's water mascot

The DPU produces and distributes drinking water to more than 7,000 customers in Los Alamos townsite, White Rock, and Bandelier National Monument, as well as to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The system includes 13 production wells, 17 pumping stations, 30 million gallons of water storage, 4 disinfection facilities, 122 miles of water distribution piping, 45 miles of water transmission lines and valves, and 64 pressure regulating valves. DPU also maintains a non-potable water system that includes the Los Alamos Canyon Dam, ski hill catchments, 6 tanks/reservoirs/ponds, 4 pressure regulating stations, 14 miles of water transmission lines, 6 meters, and 3 booster pumping stations.

The water source for Los Alamos comes from groundwater from the main aquifer under the Pajarito Plateau. Our system has wellhead protection in place and we use on-site generated sodium hypochlorite systems to disinfect the water. Total water rights available to the water production system as determined by the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer amount to 5,541.3 acre-feet/year. Additionally, Los Alamos has a contract with the United States Bureau of Reclamation for 1,200 acre-feet of water per year from the San Juan/Chama transmountain diversion project. The San Juan/Chama surface water has never been used in Los Alamos.

 

Sewer 

DPU's sewer mascot

The DPU wastewater collection and treatment systems include 118 miles of wastewater collection mains, 45 miles of delivery lines, 27 lift stations, 2,652 manholes, and a biosolids composting facility. The DPU operates two Wastewater Treatment Plants: one in Bayo Canyon, which processes Los Alamos townsite sewage and wastewater, and the other in White Rock (near Overlook Park), which processes White Rock sewage and wastewater.