Archimedes screw project begins generation in Connecticut

The New England Hydropower Company, LLC has commissioned what it says is the first generating station to be powered by an Archimedes screw turbine in the United States.

Located on an existing dam at Hanover Pond in Meriden, the project is expected to generate 920,000 kWh of electricity annually and will operate under long-term power purchase agreement with the city.

Though a long-established technology elsewhere in the world, particularly in Europe, Archimedes screws have yet to gain a strong foothold in America.

“Our goal from the inception of the company was that success at Hanover Pond would lead the way to market acceptance of the Archimedes screw technology in the U.S.,” New England Hydropower Co. founder and CEO Michael Kerr said.

The Massachusetts-based developer said its power purchase agreement with Meriden utilizes Connecticut’s virtue net metering regulations, while also qualifying for the state’s Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credit program. Coupled with a federally-supported New Clean Renewable Energy Bond, NEHC said it was able to “dramatically” reduce the project’s costs.

“This was not a large transaction by any of the typical measures — project cost, kilowatts, the footprint of the project — but its significance as an innovative financing solution can’t be overstated,” said Bert Hunter, Chief Investment Officer at Connecticut Green Bank, which helped finance the plant through what was the first green bond to be issued by the organization. “Now that we’ve done this first one, the Green Bank looks forward to future successes in financing the development of more of Connecticut’s small-scale hydro resources.”

HydroWorld.com reported a drawdown of Hanover Pond had begun in September as crews began preparation for the project’s construction. Bancroft Contracting Corp. served as general contractor.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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