EDWARDS, New York, Sept. 26, 2002 — Reliant Energy’s Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P. has completed a major upgrade of its Oswegatchie Power Plant, located on the Oswegatchie River at Edwards, St. Lawrence County, New York.
The hydropower plant, built in 1913, originally consisted of a wooden power house and a wooden flume. It had been out of service since 1992 when a flume wall collapsed.
“The $3.3 million upgrade, which was recently completed, boosts the rated capacity of the plant to 2 megawatts (MW). By comparison, the original plant had a capacity of only 0.8 MW,” said Reliant’s East Region President Curt Morgan.
One MW can provide enough power to serve approximately 750 households.
“The Oswegatchie upgrade increases the amount of ‘green’ power potentially available to the state of New York, which is significant because no additional fossil fuel-fired generation is being added to the state’s supply base, helping reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” Morgan said.
Anticipated average annual power production is 9,555 megawatt-hours-per-year (MWh/year) compared with average annual production of about 5,700 MWh/year for the original plant.
The upgrade consisted of demolishing the original structures, constructing a new intake with fish-friendly trashracks, installing two 6 1/2-foot-diameter penstocks, and constructing a new powerhouse with two hydro turbines and two generators.
“This project moved along at almost lightning speed,” said Dave Youlen, managing director-hydros. “The time span of the required Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license amendment application to the finished plant may be a record, as it was completed in a period of only 13 months. Most hydro projects of this nature can be years in the making.”
Erie Boulevard Hydropower filed its license amendment application on June 29, 2001. The FERC issued an order amending the license on Sept. 17, 2001, and construction began subsequently.
Through licensee Erie Boulevard Hydropower, Reliant owns and operates 69 hydro facilities in New York with a total operating capacity of 670 megawatts. All of the power from the plants is sold to Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, which formerly owned the plants.
Reliant Resources (NYSE: RRI), based in Houston, Texas, provides electricity and energy services to wholesale and retail customers in the U.S. and Europe, marketing those services under the Reliant Energy brand name.
The company has more than 21,000 megawatts of power generation capacity in operation, under construction or under contract in the U.S. and nearly 3,500 megawatts of power generation in operation in Western Europe. At the retail level, Reliant provides a complete suite of energy products and services to electricity customers in Texas ranging from residences and small businesses to large commercial, institutional and industrial customers.
For more information, visit the company’s web site at www.reliantresources.com.