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Update on Public Meetings: Cannonsville Dam Hydroelectric Plant

Update on Public Meetings: Cannonsville Dam Hydroelectric Plant

(FUDR Letter below):

Here is an update from the two NYCDEP public meetings held today in the UDR region about the proposed hydroelectric facility at Cannonsville Dam in Stilesville, NY.

Why has NYC decided to move forward with this facility?

In 2014, the Delaware County Electric Cooperative applied to obtain a license to build hydroelectric facilities on four NYC Reservoirs. NYCDEP did not want another entity to have this type of infrastructure on a dam that they own and manage. They determined that a hydroelectric plant would only be cost effective at Cannonsville and decided the best way to maintain control would be to construct this facility themselves.

Additionally, this hydroelectric facility will help NYC meet the carbon reduction goals of it's climate change program.

What is the Project Time Frame (construction to completion)?
Design work starting in 2020
Plant construction start 2023
Plant construction completion 2025-26
What are the Federal/State/Local environmental review requirements?

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will require public outreach and extensive environmental review. NYSDEC will also require environmental review for the construction of the plant. The National Park Service may also exercise their regulatory authority over the facility.

How will downstream communities be protected?

NYCDEP has Emergency Action Plans (EAP) for each dam. Efforts are underway to increase the speed of EAP notifications, using computer software to expedite notification calls. They are using a program called "Send Word Now," which can send texts and calls to landline phones to get the word out faster.

Will the hydroelectric plant endanger fish populations and fish reproduction?

At this time all indications are that, post construction, this facility will not pose a threat to water quality, aquatic habitat, and fish populations.

Will this facility increase water temperatures in the river?

NYCDEP stated the amount of heat generated as the water moves through the turbine will be the same as the amount currently generated, causing no net temperature change.

How will construction impact water quality?

One of the biggest concerns during the construction phase is extensive soil disturbance and overland runoff of sediment laden stormwater. River advocates will need to be vigilant to ensure that storm water controls are maximally effective in protecting the river.

How will the construction impact water releases?

The Cannonsville Reservoir releases will be shut down for approximately one month during the construction phase. There will be attempts to pump water out of the reservoir into the spillway during this time, but it is likely that the amount of water entering the river will be less than normal FFMP releases. NYCDEP plans to work with FUDR, anglers, local residents, and other stakeholders to determine the best time of year for the month long shut down.

Will there be alterations to FFMP water releases post-construction?

There will be no changes to the FFMP water releases post-construction.

Will there be construction jobs available for local community members?

The construction work must be bid out per the NYCDEP Procurement Policies, and it will be awarded to the lowest bidder. Locals will not be given preference for the jobs created.

What long-term changes can residents expect to see in the community?

This is a quiet facility that will produce slightly more traffic in the community. Residents will not see reductions in energy costs. There will be a few new jobs at the hydroelectric plant.

Will NYC be offering local community benefits?

The facility's full value should be around $34 million, which will be taxable. This will mean an increase to the Town of Deposit and Deposit Central School District tax base. It was pointed out that this may decrease the NYS school aid received by DCS.

How much electricity will be generated and where will it go?

This 6-megawatt plant will produce enough electricity to power 3,500 single family homes. It will be sold to NYSEG and will go onto the grid to be distributed throughout Central New York State.

For the river,

Jeff Skelding, Executive Director

Related Links:

DEP Announces Revised Plan to Build Hydroelectric Plant at Cannonsville Reservoir
That one month release shut down sounds like it could spell disaster. Especially if they hit a snag in whatever needs to get done within that timeframe. NYS and NYC doesn’t have a good reputation of getting many projects done in a timely manner..

One month could turn into two months, very quickly.

Hopefully the release cut off gets timed when we have a ton of water in the ground and the tributaries can help sustain whatever piss trickle they pump over the spillway.
Much ado about nothing as the old saying goes. So long as they aren't manipulating flows, not a single angler will ever know or care when they are or are not producing hydro power. Sometimes it's okay to say yes to hydro. This is one of those times IMO.