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News stories tagged with "hydropower"

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
The Kinzua Dam near Warren, PA
The Kinzua Dam near Warren, PA

Senecas seek dam to redress "historic injustice"

Forty-five years ago, the federal government built the Kinzua dam on the Alleghany River, just south of the New York border in northwestern Pennsylvania. The government said it was needed to control flooding in the Pittsburgh area.

150 families from the Seneca Nation were forcibly removed from the area. Their homes were burned and bulldozed. Their sacred longhouse and burial grounds were flooded by the rising waters.

This week, the Seneca Nation made a bid to become owner of the Kinzua dam. The federal license of the current operator, FirstEnergy of Akron, Ohio, expires in 2015. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will decide who gets a new 50-year license.

Robert Odawi Porter is the Seneca Nation president. He told David Sommerstein granting the Senecas the license to operate the Kinzua dam would correct what he calls a "grotesque injustice."  Go to full article

Power for Jobs left in limbo

A program that boosts jobs by giving employers a break on electric bills was left out of the last minute action in the state legislature.

Power for Jobs helps support thousands of workers at hundreds of companies across the state. Funding for the program has run out, and it expired in May. Lawmakers haven't agreed on a new way to keep the supplements going. And they didn't pass a temporary extension as expected either.

One hang-up is potential loss of a small break enjoyed by ratepayers near the state's big hydroelectric facilities in St. Lawrence County. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
NYPA CEO Richie Kessel hands out the signing pens to state and local lawmakers.
NYPA CEO Richie Kessel hands out the signing pens to state and local lawmakers.

NYPA delivers economic anticipation to St. Lawrence County

The New York Power Authority delivered a big heap of hope to St. Lawrence County yesterday. State and local officials gathered in Massena to sign a contract to receive 16 million dollars and 20 megawatts of cheap power for economic development. The gift is meant to compensate for the loss of St. Lawrence River waterfront due to the Moses-Saunders hydropower dam. Wrangling among St. Lawrence County leaders delayed the payment by almost a decade. And while there's relief the fund is finally here, there's no plan yet on how to use it. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Andy Schrader stands on his dock on the bank of the Salmon River (Photos:  Brian Mann)
Andy Schrader stands on his dock on the bank of the Salmon River (Photos: Brian Mann)

On the Salmon River, a time of healing or an eco-disaster?

This summer, a private contractor ripped out a century-old dam on the Salmon River in northern Franklin County. State officials said the structure was deteriorating and posed a safety hazard. The town of Fort Covington decided to remove the dam, rather than pay for costly repairs. Green groups say the project will eventually restore crucial fish and bird habitat. But two months after the work was done, a massive plug of silt and sand still clogs the river. As Brian Mann reports, many locals worry that the Salmon River could be permanently damaged.  Go to full article

North Country seeks greater returns from energy plan

Governor David Paterson has released a draft of the new New York State Energy Plan. It will affect how we heat our homes, power our appliances, businesses, and factories, and how much it will all cost. The plan sets a goal of using 30% renewable electricity by 2015 and reducing energy usage by 15% over the same timeframe. Public hearings are being held statewide. The first one yesterday in Canton held symbolic and political significance. David Sommerstein explains why.  Go to full article
Tour participants watch a skit at the old train station
Tour participants watch a skit at the old train station

Seaway at 50: The living revisit the ghosts of the Lost Villages

On July 1st, 1958, the once wild waters of the St. Lawrence River began to rise up behind the massive Moses-Saunders hydropower dam. A year later, the river officially opened to international shipping as the St. Lawrence Seaway. We're recalling that 50th anniversary this week. But that day - now 51 years ago -- is known locally as Inundation Day. The rising water swallowed nine whole villages and hamlets on the Canadian side of the river, known today as the Lost Villages. 530 homes were moved or destroyed. 6500 people were forced to higher ground. You can still see roads that disappear into the river. Old foundations emerge when the water level drops. The memories of life before Inundation Day remain strong in today's towns on the northern banks of the St. Lawrence River. The Lost Villages Museum there brought the old days back to life recently with a Ghost Tour. As a part of our special coverage of the Seaway's 50th Anniversary, David Sommerstein went along and has our story.  Go to full article

Mohawks: shipping power downstate "shameful"

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe lashed out against Governor Paterson and the New York Power Authority Tuesday for sending low-cost hydropower to Long Island. The 9 megawatts was reserved for the Mohawks and their growing casino, which has been running on generators. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

NYPA: "glad to talk" on steel mill megawatts

The head of the New York Power Authority says he'd be "glad to talk" with a developer who wants to build a steel mill in Massena. Steel Development Company chairman John Correnti says he wants to build a $200-million rebar plant and create 200 jobs. Martha Foley reports.  Go to full article

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