NORTHEASTERN U.S. HYDRO GENERATION PROFILE, 2013
|State||Conventional Hydro MWh||Total MWh||Total Renewables MWh||Hydro as a % of total||Hydro as a % of renewable||Powered & Non-powered Dams|
Sources: USACE NID, EIA
Hydropower in the Northeast
Hydropower transformed New England into a center of industry by the mid 19th century, with mill towns across the region churning out essential products during a pivotal point in our nation’s history. Now, as we look to strengthen the American economy, developers are turning to these hydropower resources in the Northeast once more as a plentiful, low-cost energy source.
Hydroelectric power accounted for more than 61 percent of total renewable generation across the region’s nine states last year. The area not only hosts significant hydro resources in states such as Maine and Vermont, but it is also home to some of the country’s leading manufacturers and engineering firms.
Project highlight: PPL and SteelFab
In Pennsylvania, utility PPL more than doubled capacity at its 108 MW facility at the century-old Holtwood Dam along the Susquehanna River. The project was actually cancelled in 2008 – another victim of the recession – but stimulus funding resurrected the Holtwood expansion project. The stimulus bill extended the availability of a program that allows qualifying facilities to exchange tax credits for federal grants, a key incentive that helped to move the project forward. With that backing, PPL was able to add 125 MW of new hydro power, enough renewable generation to power 100,000 homes.
Other parts of the hydropower supply chain are also a source of economic vitality in the region. Harking back to New England’s industrial roots, Fitchburg, Massachusetts –based Steel-Fab builds water control gates – devices that can maintain water flow and levels for hydroelectric plants and flood control dams. The company builds gates that suit varying dam designs, as well as custom gates.
An American-owned manufacturing company, Steel-Fab is helping to grow the hydropower industry here at home.