NYSEG and RG&E Generate 2.5 Billion Kilowatt-hours of Hydropower During the Last Five Years
Investments Will Boost Annual Generating Capacity to 600 Million Kilowatt-hours
Rochester, NY (March 17, 2011) – NYSEG’s and RG&E’s hydroelectric generating stations have reached a major milestone: 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours1 (kwh) of electricity produced over the last five years (2006 through 2010). That’s enough electricity to power 70,000 homes for the period.
“NYSEG and RG&E have operated hydroelectric generating plants for more than 100 years, starting long before the ‘green’ power movement hit its stride,” said Mark S. Lynch, president of NYSEG and RG&E. “We are committed to this clean, renewable energy source as is evident by our ongoing investments to keep our hydro plants operating at their peak for years to come.”
A Continuing Commitment
The companies’ continuing commitment to providing hydroelectricity is particularly apparent at RG&E’s Station 2 and Station 5 on the Genesee River in the City of Rochester.
• RG&E is investing $4 million to increase the generating capacity of Station 2 by more than 30%, from 6.5 megawatts2 (mw) to 8.5 mw. When the project is complete, the plant will be capable of producing more than 61 million kwh of electricity each year.
• RG&E is investing $111 million in Station 5, the largest of the companies’ hydroelectric generating plants, but also among the oldest. (The plant, in its current configuration with three generating units, was put in service in 1917.) While numerous plant modernization projects are complete and others are in progress, RG&E currently is re-lining a 16-foot diameter, 1,350-foot long tunnel located 130 feet under the river. The tunnel directs water from the Genesee River to the station’s three generating units, which are also being re-built. When this work is complete next fall, Station 5 will be capable of producing more than 219 million kwh of electricity each year.
NYSEG and RG&E together invested approximately $20 million in upgrading hydroelectric generating facilities in 2010 and the companies expect to invest more than $40 million in 2011.
The companies expect to generate more than 387 million kwh of clean, renewable hydroelectricity in 2011. When RG&E’s Station 5 is back in full service, the companies’ fleet of nine operating plants with a total of 21 generating units will be capable of generating more than 600 million kwh of hydroelectricity each year under normal water flow conditions.
Community and Environmental Benefits
NYSEG’s and RG&E’s investments in hydroelectric generation directly benefit communities across the state in the form of construction jobs – typically work at the plants is done by New York contractors – and purchase of materials – typically materials are supplied by local distributors.
In addition, because NYSEG’s and R&GE’s hydroelectric generation reduces the need for electricity from traditional fossil-fuel sources, there is a direct benefit to the environment from the optimum operation of these plants. From 2006 through 2010, the electricity generated from NYSEG’s and RG&E’s hydroelectric generating stations avoided an estimated:
• 1.6 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 emissions avoided are the equivalent of planting 221 million trees or preventing more than 2.8 billion miles of automobile use.
• 8,450 tons of sulfur dioxide.
• 2,300 tons of nitrogen oxides emissions.
Environmental and Recreational Enhancements
In addition to the environmental measures and public recreational facilities already in place at its hydroelectric generating stations, in 2010, NYSEG and RG&E invested approximately $1.5 million in environmental and recreation improvements. The investments included:
• Adding new fish/aquatic protection at NYSEG’s Cadyville and Rainbow Falls plants.
• Improving public whitewater access at NYSEG’s Kents Falls, High Falls and Rainbow Falls plants.
• Modernizing systems at RG&E’s Station 5 powerhouse to reduce the need for oil and other lubricants.
• Improving public access to the Genesee River’s Middle and Lower Falls at RG&E’s Station 5.
• Removing an abandoned steam line at RG&E’s Station 2 to enhance public viewing of the river near High Falls.
RG&E Hydroelectric Generating Stations
Plant Location Generator Nameplate Capacity
Station 5 Genesee River, Rochester 45.4 megawatts
Station 2 Genesee River, Rochester 8.5 megawatts
Station 26 Genesee River, Rochester 3 megawatts
NYSEG Hydroelectric Generating Stations
Plant Location Generator Nameplate Capacity
Upper Mechanicville Hudson River, north of Albany 18.5 megawatts
High Falls Saranac River, northern New York 15 megawatts
Kents Falls Saranac River, northern New York 14 megawatts
Cadyville Saranac River, northern New York 6 megawatts
Mill C Saranac River, northern New York 6 megawatts
Rainbow Falls Ausable River, northern New York 3 megawatts
Download photos of NYSEG/RG&E hydroelectric generating facilities on Flickr: http://bit.ly/hXickN
1 Kilowatt-hour (kwh): Equal to one kilowatt generated or consumed for one hour. A kilowatt equals 1,000 watts.
2 Megawatt (mw): One million watts.
About NYSEG, RG&E and Iberdrola USA: NYSEG and RG&E are subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA. NYSEG serves 878,000 electricity customers and 261,000 natural gas customers across more than 40% of upstate New York. RG&E serves 367,000 electricity customers and 303,000 natural gas customers in a nine-county region centered on the City of Rochester. Iberdrola USA, a subsidiary of global energy leader Iberdrola, S.A., is an energy services and delivery company with more than 2.4 million customers in upstate New York and New England. We are a team of dedicated individuals working as one to deliver value to our customers, employees and shareholders. By providing outstanding customer service and exceptional reliability, while holding safety and the environment in high regard, we aspire to be a world-class energy company. For more information, visit www.nyseg.com, www.rge.com and www.iberdrolausa.com.