Connecticut town seeks developer for 2.376-MW Upper, Lower Collinsville dams hydro project

Collinsville Dam

The town of Canton seeks proposals from developers to redevelop two previously licensed hydro plants, Upper Collinsville and Lower Collinsville dams on the Farmington River at Collinsville, Conn. A pre-proposal meeting is scheduled April 17, with proposals due May 20.

The town seeks firms that will pursue redevelopment of Upper Collinsville Dam, and possibly Lower Collinsville Dam at the same time, from the pre-development application process through construction, financing and operation. Canton holds a preliminary permit covering both sites as the 2.376-MW Canton project (No. 13273).

The Collins Co. generated hydropower at the plants from the early 1900s until closure in 1966. The sites subsequently were licensed by the Metropolitan District under FERC project No. 7048 in 1986, and Summit Hydro as the 373-kW Upper Collinsville (No. 10822) and 920-kW Lower Collinsville (No. 10823) projects in 2001. Because Summit did not start construction, FERC issued a notice of intent to terminate its licenses that became final in 2008.

Legislation before Congress would reinstate the Summit licenses and transfer them to the town of Canton. Although H.R.316 passed the House and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which amended it as Senate Amendment 579 in 2013, the bill remains on the Senate calendar without action.

John Katz, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's deputy associate general counsel, testified last year that FERC does not oppose the bill. The bill, by Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., would extend the construction start deadline for another two years and allow FERC to add new conditions to the licenses if necessary and would require FERC to supplement its environmental analysis to include any new environmental information.

Rather than wait on Congress, Canton is proceeding under its own preliminary permit, which expires in 2015. It said it seeks the services of a preferred project developer to finance, develop and operate the project. It said the town intends for the developer to bear all costs of project implementation and to recover its costs through electricity sales. The town would benefit by maintenance of the dams, enhanced recreation, economic expansion, reduction of energy costs, and creation of a non-tax-based source of revenue.

Canton's request for proposals may be obtained from the town's Internet site under http://townofcantonct.org/filestorage/86/Canton_Hydro_RFP_3-20-2014.pdf. A non-mandatory pre-proposal conference is scheduled at 1 p.m. April 17 in the conference room, Canton Town Hall, 2nd Floor, 4 Market St., Collinsville.

Proposals are due by 3 p.m. May 20 in the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, Canton Town Hall. For information, contact Paul V. Nolan, 5515 N. 17th St., Arlington, VA 22205-2722; (1) 703-534-5509; Cell: (1) 703-587-5895; Fax: (1) 703-538-5257; E-mail: pvnpvndiver@gmail.com.

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