GlobalFoundries will pay for the Saratoga County Water Authority to conduct a water system capacity analysis, to determine what needs to be done to provide enough water for another semiconductor plant.
The computer chip giant, which is considering building a second plant at its Fab 8 complex in Malta and Stillwater, will pay $30,000 for the study, which will be done by Delaware Engineering of Albany.
Water Authority Chairman John E. Lawler, R-Waterford, said GlobalFoundries offered to pay for the study, and authority officials are agreeable.
“It will primarily benefit GlobalFoundries, since they are the ones who will be increasing demand,” Lawler said.
GlobalFoundries believes some capacity upgrades at the county water treatment plant in Moreau would be needed if the proposed Fab 8.2 goes forward. The company hasn’t committed to the project, but it actively planning for it.
Lawler said the authority has an ongoing relationship with Delaware Engineering, and it makes sense to hire it because the firm is already familiar with the county water system.
The Water Authority, which began operating in 2010, originally built its system primarily because of the anticipated water demand from a computer chip plant at the Luther Forest Technology Campus.
To date, though, the semiconductor plant that opened last year is using only about 1.4 million gallons of water per day — less than half of what water authority officials anticipated.
But the proposed Fab 8.2 would be larger than Fab 8.1, and the company estimates its daily water use would be up to 5.9 million gallons.
GlobalFoundries says its total water use would both plants and a research and development center could hit 10.7 million gallons per day, which would require making upgrades to the county water treatment plant, according to a draft environmental impact statement.
Based on the GlobalFoundries estimates, “we thought it would be a good idea to do some what-if scenarios,” Lawler said.
The water authority’s plant on the Hudson River in Moreau can currently produce 7 million gallons per day, and could double that with some equipment upgrades. The plant is also designed to be expandable to produce up to 26 million gallons per day in the future.
The authority has also awarded a $164,104 contract to William J. Keller & Sons Construction of Castleton to do stream mitigation work on the Kayaderosseras Creek in Milton.
The company will be moving boulders and doing other in-stream work to improve trout habitat, said Ed Hernandez, the authority’s acting executive director. There is expected to be work at five or six locations that have already been identified.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is requiring the authority to make stream improvements as a condition for having allowed the authority to run its main water pipe under the Kayaderosseras in 2008.