The New York Power Authority is looking to renew the operating license for its hydroelectric plant on the Schoharie Creek.
NYPA filed preliminary documents Thursday with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to relicense its Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project. NYPA is looking to get a new license before the current one expires in five years.
NYPA filed a notice of intent alerting FERC of its intention to relicense and also filed a pre-application document describing the relicensing process, which includes information about the plant’s engineering and environmental operations. NYPA plans to submit its application for a new license by April 2017.
“The Blenheim-Gilboa project plays a valuable role in the security and reliability of New York state’s bulk electric power system,” Lynn Hait, regional manager for NYPA, said in a statement. “A new license will allow the Power Authority . . . to continue providing important energy reliability and community benefits to local residents and the people of New York state.”
The Blenheim-Gilboa plant provides electricity during periods of high demand by dumping up to 5 billion gallons of water from an upper reservoir down tunnels and through turbines into a lower reservoir about a thousand feet below. In periods of low demand, when electricity is less expensive, the plant buys power and pumps the water back up the hill to await the next cycle.
Its four tubrines can generate about 1,000 megawatts, enough to power about a million homes.
The power station is in the towns of Blenheim and Gilboa and is one of the major employers in the area, with more than 150 workers.
The hydroelectric plant was constructed in 1969 after NYPA received a 50-year license from the Federal Power Commission to operate the facility. The plant started supplying electricity to the state’s power grid four years later.