Cohoes, NY, Feb. 21, 2007 — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted Erie Boulevard Hydropower L.P., a subsidiary of Brookfield Power, a license to operate its School Street facility. The new license paves the way for an investment in the City of Cohoes of up to $25 million for production capacity upgrades, environmental improvements such as fish protection and flows, and recreational enhancements, while attempting to preserve the historic nature of the site.
“FERC’s relicensing of our School Street facility affirms the balance and sustainability of our plan,” said David Youlen, Brookfield Power senior VP of U.S. generation development.
FERC granted the license renewal application at the Commission’s monthly meeting in Washington, DC. The new license is for 40 years.
The license application was developed in collaboration with local, state and federal agencies and other interested groups including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, New York Rivers United, New York State Conservation Council, New York Power Authority, Rensselaer City Conservation Alliance, City of Cohoes and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Fisheries.
“The FERC’s license renewal of Brookfield Power’s School Street facility is the final relicensing in a series of 13 renewals that dramatically raises the bar for hydropower operations across the state,” said Bruce Carpenter, executive director of New York Rivers United.
Under the terms of the renewed license, Brookfield Power will:
* Increase power production capacity to 50 megawatts from 38.8 megawatts.
* Preserve one of the last free-flowing stretches of the Mohawk River.
* Ensure constant flow over Cohoes Falls and natural high flow rates in spring and fall.
* Maintain stable river levels.
* Install screening that protects fish.
* Construct a new structure to safely move herring, eels and other fish around the generating equipment.
The license renewal allows Brookfield Power to continue its improvements to the School Street facility. Over the past five months, Brookfield Power started historic preservation efforts at the site including: working with the local utility to remove defunct power lines; repairing masonry; painting; and installing new windows and exterior lights.
Recreational enhancements also have been underway, such as enhancing the view of the Cohoes Falls at Overlook Park, which is adjacent to the School Street facility. Other enhancements will create new viewing areas and access improvements, including a new footbridge over the power canal and a new observation area at the crest and base of the falls.
Under the terms of the license, the majority of the improvements at the School Street facility need to be completed within 18 months. New minimum flow levels over Cohoes Falls will be implemented also.
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