Cooperative proposes hydro for New York City reservoirs

Delaware County Electric Cooperative plans to study the feasibility of a 63-MW Catskills Hydro project with four hydroelectric developments at water supply reservoirs in the New York City watershed of Upstate New York.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has accepted the cooperative’s application for a preliminary permit to study the project (No. 13222). FERC issued notice of the application in July, calling for comments, motions to intervene, and competing applications by Sept. 19.

The cooperative’s proposal includes powerhouses for existing earthen dams and reservoirs: 23.5-MW Schoharie, Schoharie Creek, 23.9 gigawatt-hours’ annual generation; 20.5-MW Cannonsville, West Branch Delaware River, 46.5 GWh; 12.5-MW Pepacton, East Branch Delaware River, 16.7 GWh; and 6.5-MW Neversink, Neversink River, 4 GWh.

Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., supports the project. The congresswoman sent a letter to the commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, urging the city to work with the cooperative to move the proposal forward.

�The watershed communities are the stewards for the majority of New York City’s water supply, and that responsibility has come with little economic benefit and many limitations on development in the region,� Gillibrand said. �This proposal is the perfect opportunity for the city to show the people of the watershed communities that they don’t take their pristine water for granted.�

The congresswoman added the proposal addresses a critical need for economic development projects in the region, while providing clean, low-cost energy for watershed communities.

�This project is critical to the future of the watershed communities and will serve as a model for the type of projects that can utilize our natural resource to promote clean, alternative energy and economic development,� Gillibrand told the department’s commissioner, Emily Lloyd.

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