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Vischer Ferry, Crescent hydroelectric plants upgraded

Vischer Ferry, Crescent hydroelectric plants upgraded

Work will advance clean energy effort
Vischer Ferry, Crescent hydroelectric plants upgraded
New York Power Authority's Crescent Hydroelectric Project in 2013.
Photographer: MARC SCHULTZ

 The New York Power Authority has completed upgrades at its hydroelectric power plants in Colonie and Clifton Park.

The overhaul consisted of upgrades to the hydropower turbines and plant control equipment, the state announced Thursday. The project cost totaled $26 million, and included work at the Ashokan hydropower plant in Ulster County, in addition to the Crescent and Vischer Ferry plants.

The improvements are expected to help the state get closer to the Clean Energy Standard set forth by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which calls for 50 percent of the state’s electricity to be supplied by renewable sources by the year 2030.

Four of the eight turbines at the two Mohawk River hydro plants were updated at a cost of $20 million. Control equipment at all three plants was upgraded at a cost of $6 million. The work is part of NYPA’s larger five-year strategic plan to maintain and upgrade its facilities.

“Generating clean, low-cost power is what we do at the Power Authority,” NYPA president and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said in a news release. “It’s painstaking, careful maintenance and modernization efforts like this recently completed work at our small-hydro facilities that enable us to continue supplying economical, reliable power to our customers.”

The authority purchased the two plants on the Mohawk River from the state Department of Transportation in 1984 and has upgraded them a few times since. Some components refurbished or replaced during this latest round of work were nearly a century old.

NYPA is now conducting an engineering assessment for the overhaul of the two original turbine generators at each facility, which were installed before the two plants began operation in 1925.

The Crescent and Vischer Ferry plants are both rated at 9.9 megawatts.

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