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News stories tagged with "hydro"

The wild Rupert River in the months before its diversion. Photo: Brian Mann
The wild Rupert River in the months before its diversion. Photo: Brian Mann

A fading river, a wild wolf

North Country Public Radio has had a long love-affair with wolves.

In 2007, our Adirondack bureau chief Brian Mann was traveling in northern Quebec, studying the environmental and cultural impacts of hydro development.

He was paddling with Phil Royce from the outdoor program at St. Lawrence University.  Go to full article
Matt Foley checks the meters at his power plant in Wadhams, NY (Photos:  Brian Mann)
Matt Foley checks the meters at his power plant in Wadhams, NY (Photos: Brian Mann)

Electricity glut threatens North Country's green power industry

Yesterday, we reported on New York's growing reliance on electricity produced Canada. A new project now in the works would pipe enough energy from hydro dams in Quebec to power a million homes in New York City.

The North Country has also seen a boom in energy production in recent years, with new wind farms, wood pellet plants, and biomass. But with more and more competition, and the lingering economic downturn, electric rates have plummeted.

That's putting pressure on small-scale producers of electricity, including companies trying to generate green, carbon-free energy. A biomass plant in Chateaugay, in Clinton County, laid off 13 workers last month. And many of the region's small hydro dams are also struggling.

This morning, Brian Mann profiles one dam operator in the Adirondacks who says without big regulatory changes, some green energy producers won't survive.  Go to full article
A Trans Canada worker inspects a pumping station in Steele City, Nebraska. Photos: Brian Mann
A Trans Canada worker inspects a pumping station in Steele City, Nebraska. Photos: Brian Mann

New York and the US look to Canada for energy, raising big questions about the environment

North Country congressman Bill Owens is praising a Canadian company for its plan to move forward with construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Owens' backing for the controversial pipeline comes at a time when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is also pushing a plan to import more hydro-electric power from Quebec.

Canada is already the biggest foreign supplier of energy to the US. And across the political spectrum, American leaders see Canada as a safer alternative to energy suppliers in the Middle East and Central America.

But there are growing questions about the environmental costs to Canada's energy boom and the debate is causing some Canadians to rethink their country's image as one of the world's most environmentally friendly societies. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
Homes along the Gulf Rd. in Colton were surrounded by the Raquette on Sunday.  The road was closed except for local traffic.
Homes along the Gulf Rd. in Colton were surrounded by the Raquette on Sunday. The road was closed except for local traffic.

Water levels uncertain down the Raquette

The company that manages the hydroelectric dams downstream from Tupper Lake along the Raquette River says it's starting to see water levels go down. But with more rain in the forecast, it's not clear if that trend will hold. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
The Rupert River before it was diverted by Hydro Quebec
The Rupert River before it was diverted by Hydro Quebec

Story 2.0: Power for the US, a changed river for the Cree

As we've been hearing in John Dillon's report, there is a debate raging over the future of Hydro Quebec's power projects and their impact on the environment.

Brian Mann has traveled repeatedly to Cree Crounty in northern Quebec, talking with local leaders about the way industrial power projects are changing their villages and the landscape.

This morning as part of our series Story 2.0, we'll revisit his report from 2007.  Go to full article
Conklingville Dam on Great Sacandaga Reservoir (Source: HRBRRD)
Conklingville Dam on Great Sacandaga Reservoir (Source: HRBRRD)

State authority that runs North Country dams, reservoirs running out of money

The state-run authority that manages many of the North Country's dams and reservoirs is running out of cash. Officials with the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District announced last week that they will lay off twelve employees at the end of the month.

The organization lost most of its revenue in 2008 because of a court decision and is still struggling to find ways to pay for its operations. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Good and bad of dam removals

Water powered the first industries in the northeast. But damming rivers to produce that power has consequences -- walling off rivers and stopping fish from migrating upstream. In recent years more than 20 dams have been knocked down in the Northeast. This month marks the ten-year anniversary of one of the first to come down: the Edwards Dam in Augusta, Maine. As part of a collaboration with northeast stations, Susan Sharon reports there are tradeoffs to dam removal, too, especially in an era of climate change.  Go to full article

Preview: Energy Fair in Canton

NCPR is media sponsor for the 14th annual Sustainable Energy Fair at the SUNY Canton Miller Campus Center this weekend. This year's fair includes more than 100 workshops and exhibitors, green home tours, environmental theater and more. Todd Moe talks with organizer Patricia Greene.  Go to full article

Locals chide NYPA as leadership changes

The New York Power Authority and the North Country have a long, shared history. The agency overseeing the state's energy production is about to get a new leader. A couple former power industry insiders now wonder if this region will get the recognition it deserves. Jonathan Brown has more.  Go to full article
The wild Rupert River will soon be altered radically.
The wild Rupert River will soon be altered radically.

On a wild Quebec river, wolves, caribou and the encroachment of industry

Last November, Brian Mann reported on plans to dam and divert the massive Rupert River in northern Quebec. The project, developed by the provincial utility, Hydro-Quebec, will provide hydroelectricity to consumers in New York and Vermont. His story was recognized with an Edward R. Murrow Award. Last week, Brian returned to paddle the Rupert again. He made the trip as part of a documentary project called "Encounters." Here's his reporter's notebook.  Go to full article

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