Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Hydroelectric plant proposed at Esopus Creek

Esopus Creek is a 65.4 mile long tributary of the Hudson River, and the potential site of the new hydropower project. Gravity Renewables out of Boulder, Colorado, a Colorado based renewable energy company, has already asked the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a permit to allow it to study turning the dam into potential hydropower project with the capacity of 5,300 megawatt-hours of energy a year.

If constructed, this hydroelectric power plant could provide enough power for more than 700 average American households. However, the company announced that Diamond Mills Dam on the Esopus Creek is only one of the several interesting sites they are currently looking at.

This dam has been already looked at before as an interesting place to harness hydropower. Five years ago, the American Hydro Power company gave figures to FERC claiming it could generate 2,113 megawatt hours a year at the site at a cost of $3.5 million.

The history doesn't give too much optimism because the U.S. Department of Interior wrote back then that the project "could have an adverse impact on existing fish and wildlife resources and their habitats".

This dam was constructed in 1929 and is currently owned by Leading Edge Developers LLC. Whether it could be turned out in the hydroelectric power plant it still remains to be seen.