The federal government has awarded $2.8 million in stimulus money to Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. for improvements at RG&E's 8.5-MW Station 2 hydroelectric project on New York's Genesee River.
Funding from the U.S. Treasury Department grant is provided through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's provision for partial reimbursement for eligible improvements to hydroelectric projects.
RG&E has invested more than $12 million in Station 2 at High Falls (No. 2582) over the last four years to increase its generating capacity to 8.5 MW from 6.5 MW and to make the plant more efficient. The work resulted in 310 temporary construction jobs and relied on equipment and materials from hundreds of suppliers in the region.
The plant now is expected to generate about 53 million kWh annually, enough to power about 7,400 homes.
RG&E announced in 2007 it planned to invest more than $20 million to upgrade its Station 2 and Station 5 hydroelectric plants, both on the Genesee. In 2012, the utility restarted the 46-MW Station 5 at Middle/Lower Falls (No. 2583), signaling the completion of a $111 million modernization that took five years.
President Mark Lynch of RG&E and of New York State Electric & Gas said the two utilities have operated hydroelectric projects for more than 100 years.
"Our ongoing investment in RG&E's hydroelectric plants in Rochester and NYSEG's plants in the Capital Region and northern New York will keep the facilities operating efficiently for years to come," Lynch said. "Further, this investment in clean, renewable electricity sources is evidence of our commitment to environmental stewardship."
RG&E and NYSEG have been subsidiaries of Iberdrola of Spain since their purchase in 2007.