New York chooses ten hydros to help meet renewables target

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the New York Public Service Commission have selected ten hydroelectric projects owned by Brookfield Power to help the state meet goals of New York’s Renewables Portfolio Standard Program.

In addition to the ten hydro facilities, which have been or will be upgraded, the state awarded contracts April 19 for nine new wind and two biomass facilities. The 21 contract awards total $295 million and will be paid out over ten years as performance incentives. The facilities are to generate and deliver electricity to the New York grid. Incentives will average about $15 per megawatt-hour.

The hydroelectric plants are: Allens Falls, in the 6.8-MW West Branch St. Regis River project (No. 10461) (HNN 2/6/07); Browns Falls, in 29.48-MW Oswegatchie River (No. 2713); Colton and Higley, both in 48.323-MW Middle Raquette River (No. 2320); Eagle, in 44.8-MW Beaver River (No. 2645); East Fork, Norwood, Norfolk, and Raymondville, all in 18-MW Lower Raquette River Hydro (No. 2330) (HNN 1/31/07); and Oswego Falls West, in 7.46-MW Oswego Falls (No. 5984). (HNN 1/23/07) Payments will reflect incremental capacity resulting from improvements at the plants.

NYSERDA said it considered proposals from owners of 34 power plants who responded to a solicitation issued under a state renewables portfolio standard program adopted in 2004. The program requires utilities to increase their purchases of renewable energy to at least 25 percent of their total generation portfolios by 2013.

The 21 facilities selected represent 880 MW of in-state renewable energy capacity that would produce about 2.6 million MWh annually, or enough clean energy to supply 435,000 average-sized homes. Project developers will invest an estimated $1.4 billion to construct and upgrade the facilities. Upgrades of existing hydro and biomass facilities and construction of new wind facilities are expected to be completed by fall 2008.

In another program, NYSERDA has invited funding applications for environmentally preferred power technologies that could include hydropower. (HNN 3/27/07)

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