New York hydro generator plans $3 billion system investments

U.S. utility Energy East Corp. says it plans to invest more than $3 billion in the next three years in reliability and infrastructure, while being environmentally responsive.

Energy East, New York State’s third largest hydroelectric generator, serves 3 million customers in New York and the New England states. Chairman Wesley von Schack told shareholders meeting June 15 in Portland that public policymakers have recognized that significant capital investments are needed to ensure a secure, safe, and reliable energy infrastructure system, while addressing public concerns about global warming.

Schack said that since 1999 Energy East has reduced carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by nearly 50 percent and significantly reduced sulfur hexafluoride emissions, which have 24,000 times greater warming effect than CO2.

He noted that in 2006 Energy East’s New York utility units, Rochester Gas &Electric Corp. and New York State Electric &Gas, increased hydroelectric output by 14 percent. The company previously reported its hydro plants generated their highest amounts in 20 years and 15 years, thanks to storm-driven river volumes in 2006 and strategic plant investments. (HNN 1/19/07)

RGE announced in April it plans to invest more than $20 million over the next three years in its 6.5-MW Station 2 and 43.74-MW Station 5 hydroelectric plants on New York’s Genesee River. (HNN 4/10/07) RG&E said the investment would enable it to add a total of 9 MW of generating capacity at the two plants.

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