JEROME, Idaho (AP) — When officials at North Side Canal Co. realized that they needed to replace an aging concrete gate, they chose one that would pay for itself.

The Twin Falls Times-News reports ( ) that the new gate doubles as a hydroelectric power plant and is expected to generate $8 million worth of electricity over the next 28 years.

That's enough to cover the entire cost of the project.

Canal company manager Alan Hansten says the gate is located in the perfect place to generate electricity, where the stream flow is strong and there is a 20-foot drop-off. The company will sell the electricity to Idaho Power Co.

Hansten says the hydroelectric plant will use an enclosed system, a method that made the project less expensive to construct than similar canal plants.