Massachusetts micro hydro plant changing hands

The Chicopee Electric Light Department will gain control of the 2.5-MW Chicopee hydroelectric project at the end of this month, has learned.

The micro hydro plant was completed in 1983 by the Swift River Company with an agreement that gave the company an easement to Chicopee’s dam. The deal included a provision, however, that the dam and generating facility be sold to the Chicopee Electric Light Department after 30 years.

According to city officials, the city will pay US$1.1 million for the plant as per an arrangement dating back to its construction.

The project is currently operated by the O’Connell Company and a subsidiary, the Chicopee Hydro Electric Limited Partnership, which purchased the facility in the years after its construction.

Chicopee will be operated on a one-year trial basis by Swift River Hydroelectric.

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