Upgrades to 3 Hydropower Projects Announced
WEST SPRINGFIELD — State energy officials today announced more than $1 million in funding to support upgrades to hydroelectric facilities in Orange, Ware, and West Springfield. The initiatives, announced during Earth Week, are aimed at increasing Massachusetts’ clean energy generation.
“In filing legislation for the procurement of cost-effective, low-carbon hydropower, our administration recognizes the importance of improving renewable energy facilities to help the Commonwealth continue to lead the way on clean energy, energy efficiency and the adoption of innovative technologies,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “These grants to make hydropower facilities more efficient and increasing hydropower production will help us meet our greenhouse gas emissions goals and continue to increase the role of renewables in our energy portfolio.”
The upgrades, which are being funded through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) Hydropower Program, will allow the facilities to annually produce an average of 1.2 million more kilowatt hours of renewable electricity, enough to power 157 average Massachusetts homes.
“Upgrading local hydroelectric facilities further diversifies the Commonwealth’s energy portfolio, while helping to reach our ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Hydropower is a low-cost, clean resource that allows us to provide reliable electricity to Massachusetts residents while protecting the environment.”
Facilities receiving grant funding are:
- Mini-Watt Hydroelectric (Orange) — $500,000: This funding will go towards reducing leakage, replacing equipment with more efficient models and installing a fully-automated system that can be controlled via smart phone. These upgrades are expected to increase electric generation by at least 516,000 kWh per year, enough to power 68 average Massachusetts homes.
- Pioneer Hydro Electric Co. (Ware) — $478,000: This funding will allow the company to make comprehensive upgrades that increase both the electrical generation capacity and efficiency of the facility. The upgrades are expected to increase average generation by about 561,000 kWh per year, enough to power 74 average Massachusetts homes.
- A & D Hydro Inc. (West Springfield) — $68,831: This funding will go towards replacing the trash racks and trash raking machine and reprogramming the rake’s automation and control system, leading to an expected increase in generation of about 116,000 kWh per year, enough to power 15 average Massachusetts homes.