FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 5, 2012
SCHUMER REVEALS: STUYVESANT FALLS HYDROELECTRIC PLANT ON THE BRINK OF BEING REACTIVATED – LEADS TOUR OF PLANT TO SEE MAJOR RENOVATIONS FIRSTHAND
Today, at the Stuyvesant Falls Hydroelectric Plant, U.S. Charles E. Schumer toured the plant and announced that it is nearly ready to be reactivated and should begin producing power in the next few months. Eight years ago, Senator Schumer successfully passed legislation that granted the plant’s license to the town and Albany Engineering Corporation. Since that time, the town and company have made significant upgrades to the plant that had been mothballed, and are now on the verge of reactivating the plant that will provide local tax revenue, establish a revenue stream for the Town and once again create clean renewable energy. Originally built in 1899 by the Albany & Hudson Railroad Company, and rebuilt in 1942 by New York Power & Light, the plant used to produce 3.5 megawatts of power, but following the successful renovation it will generate 7 megawatts.
“Since 1994, the hydroelectric plant here in Stuyvesant has sat collecting dust and mothballs rather than generating clean energy and generating tax revenue for the tax payers. But soon, all of that will change with the incredible news that the Stuyvesant Falls Hydroelectric Plant will be up and running again in the coming months,” said Schumer. “Flipping on the switch will send a jolt through Columbia County. This is a huge victory for the Town of Stuyvesant and Albany Engineering which have worked tirelessly over the years to make critical infrastructure and other upgrades to this plant, so that it would be ready to generate double the amount of clean energy, all while providing revenue from taxes and the sale of the power. I’m thrilled to have fought to turn over the power plant to the town of Stuyvesant in 2003, and vow to continue working with local officials until this plant is firing on all cylinders and acting as an engine of economic development in Columbia County.”
In 2003, Senator Schumer successfully fought to pass a legislative provision to give the Town of Stuyvesant the federal license to operate the Stuyvesant Falls Hydroelectric Plant. He submitted the provision as an amendment to the 2003 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, which was then signed into law. Once the license was secured, the Town and company entered protracted negotiations with Brookfield Power, who owned the idle property, to purchase it. Since that time, the town and company have made critical upgrades so that the over century-old plant can be reactivated. The project includes a rebuilding of the facility, with all new turbines and significant upgrades to the water piping, and powerhouse.
“This plant was built well over 100 years ago, ran for 40 years, was rebuilt and ran for 50 more, producing clean, renewable energy. Then for 20 years it sat virtually abandoned. Now, thanks to this upgrade, we know it will generate power for at least another 50 years to come,” continued Schumer. “This project alone won’t end our dependence on foreign oil, but every little bit helps, and we should be harnessing domestic, renewable energy sources whenever we can.”
Schumer was joined by Jim Besha of Albany Engineering Corp., Ron Knott, the Supervisor of Stuyvesant, as well as other local elected officials and vendors who have worked on the rehabilitation of the Stuyvesant Falls Hydroelectric Plant. Approximately 40 local businesses have provided the materials, expertise and manpower for this project.