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News stories tagged with "hydropower"

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

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.  Go to full article
John Martin in the main woodworking shop.
John Martin in the main woodworking shop.

How it works: a tour of the Croghan Island Mill

At one time, there were four mills located at the Croghan Dam, on each side of the Beaver River. John Martin is owner and operator of the last remaining, the Croghan Island Mill.

He specializes in custom windows and doors...things you can't get at Lowe's or Home Depot.
Up until the stop logs were removed from the dam, Martin's machinery was powered by water, which drove pulleys and belts in the historic mill. He's had to rely on electricty since then, but he's had to cut back.

Martin's glad the dam has been reclassified as a lower risk. "Hopefully we can go back to water power," he said, and "business will pick back up and I can get back to normal life again."
Martin gave David Sommerstein a tour of the mill a year ago.

Martin says his father bought the mill from Lehman & Zehr, the original owners, in 1969.  Go to full article

Croghan dam wins grant

State environment officials won't remove stop logs from the village of Croghan's historic dam - at least for now. As David Sommerstein reports, the delay comes as Croghan won a $100,000 grant to begin rebuilding the dam.  Go to full article
The Croghan Island Mill
The Croghan Island Mill

Croghan scrambles to save its dam

The Lewis County village of Croghan is mounting a last-ditch effort to save its dam on the Beaver River as well as the historic sawmill it powers.

The dam is crumbling and is considered a high hazard by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. State officials said they'll remove the stop logs next month and may breach the dam completely. Local officials say that will leave shoreline residents high and dry, and hurt a grassroots effort to rebuild the dam. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
The Kinzua Dam near Warren, PA
The Kinzua Dam near Warren, PA

Senecas fight for Kinzua dam

In southwestern New York, a battle is shaping up for one of the Northeast's great hydropower complexes. The Kinzua dam was built 45 years ago by the federal government. In the process, dozens of homes and sacred sites belonging to the Seneca Indian Nation were flooded.

Today, the Seneca Nation is making a bid to take ownership of the dam. It's created an energy company from scratch. And it's investing heavily in its bet to beat out the company that currently runs the dam in the federal dam relicensing process. As the Innovation Trail's Daniel Robison reports, tens of millions of dollars are at stake.  Go to full article
The Croghan Island Mill
The Croghan Island Mill

Crumbling dam threatens historic Croghan mill

Our series on New York's aging infrastructure continues this morning with a look at a crumbling dam in Lewis County and why it threatens a community's identity and culture.

There are more than 5,000 dams in New York State. They're mostly used for flood control, to provide drinking water, for hydropower, and to create lakes and ponds for recreation.

Even dam safety officials don't know how many need repair. But they do know 50 of the most potentially hazardous ones need to be fixed or dismantled.

One of those is on the Beaver River in the village of Croghan. If it can't be fixed, it may force the closure of one of the state's last water-powered sawmills. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Croghan Island Mill owner John Martin
Croghan Island Mill owner John Martin

Tour the Croghan Island Mill

David Sommerstein spent some more time with John Martin, the owner and operator of the Croghan Island Mill, and went on a tour. Martin specializes in custom windows and doors...things you can't get at Lowe's or Home Depot.

Martin says his father bought the mill from Lehman & Zehr, the original owners, in 1969.  Go to full article
Rupert River diversion was a massive industrial project rooted in Quebec's wilderness (Photo:  Brian Mann)
Rupert River diversion was a massive industrial project rooted in Quebec's wilderness (Photo: Brian Mann)

As Northeast looks to Hydro Quebec for power, thorny environmental questions remain

Northeast states are increasingly looking to Canada to meet a growing demand for low cost hydro electricity from renewable sources.

But the energy imports are stirring controversy. In northern New Hampshire, local activists are fighting a power line that would send the electricity south. And questions are being raised about whether big hydro is really green.

As part of a collaboration of Northeast stations John Dillon of Vermont Public Radio reports.

Northeast environmental reporting is made possible, in part, by a grant from United Technologies. Northeast environmental coverage is part of NPR's Local News Initiative.  Go to full article
Any little savings we can get from any revenue avenue whatsoever is very important to the livelihood of the farmers.

Alcoa restart brings end to power discounts

The resumption of production at Alcoa's east smelter in Massena is a huge boost to a region that's been battered by the recession. 120 people are back on the pot lines. Alcoa's planning to invest millions of dollars in modernizing the facility.

But there's a sliver of bad news. Alcoa's share of low cost power was going to businesses and farms across the North Country. Yesterday, the New York Power Authority announced those discounts will be phased out. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
The Croghan Island Mill
The Croghan Island Mill

Citizens and students team up to save Croghan mill

An historic North Country sound is in danger of disappearing, the rhythmic sound of the wheelhouse of the Croghan Island Mill, one of the only operating mechanical sawmills left in New York. It's dam has been crumbling since the 1980s. And the Department of Environmental Conservation says it needs to be removed. But local residents and St. Lawrence University students are teaming up to try to save it.  Go to full article

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