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Bob Schwarzer working on the construction of the hydro plant, back in 2008
Bob Schwarzer working on the construction of the hydro plant, back in 2008

Potsdam hydro project almost done; village sues supplier

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It's been more than a decade since Potsdam started planning a new hydroelectric power plant where the Raquette River winds through the village. The plant is almost ready to start generating electricity.

Construction ramped up recently after the last of the needed parts for the generating station were finally delivered. Meanwhile, village officials are set to sue a supplier they say delayed progress for years.

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Village Mayor Steve Yurgartis expects the project to be complete by the end of summer, or early fall.  He says once the project starts generating power, it will generate revenue right away. "The projection is it will be producing enough power and revenue to cover the cost and more," he said, "so right from the first day of operation, it will be providing money to the village Potsdam."

Yurgartis says the village is working with National Grid to figure out how to connect into the grid—and he says the village is looking into selling electricity directly to Clarkson University.

Meanwhile, Yurgartis tells the Watertown Daily Times that Potsdam suing the company it blames for holding up the project.  The village seeks $2-point-2 million dollars in damages from Canadian Turbines Inc.

Yurgartis says the company was not able to produce equipment contracted for the hydroelectric plant.  He tells the newspaper that delays and malfunctioning parts set the multimillion-dollar project back more than three years.


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