Matching Funds Aid Study of Micro Hydro Generation

Green Mountain Power is providing $15,000 in matching funds to Barre, Vermont, to study the feasibility of generating electricity from so-called micro-hydro sources, including at the municipal water system. Micro-hydro is defined as small-scale, low-impact sites such as water supply facilities, run-of-the-river and farm ponds. This type of electrical generation has minimal impact on rivers, fish and wildlife.

Chris Dutton, president and chief executive officer of Green Mountain Power, a Vermont-based energy services company serving 90,000 electric customers, said, “We are interested in learning from the Barre study whether there are other opportunities across Vermont to harness electricity from potential micro-hydro sites.” The City of Barre recently received a $16,700 grant from the Vermont Community Development Program to conduct a feasibility study of potential low-impact hydroelectric generation sites in Barre that are typical of potential opportunities elsewhere in Vermont and New England. In addition to examining the feasibility of these sites, the study will also focus on the best method to finance their development. David O’Brien, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service, said, “This is a classic example of Vermont ingenuity, harnessing the flow of water through water mains to generate electricity. Like farm methane and landfill methane generation, we are looking for new, creative ways to generate electricity. While these sources will not become a dominant part of our power mix, they certainly can play a contributing role.”
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