KINGSTON, N.Y. — Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. will receive $3.4 million in federal funding to rehab its hydroelectric facility in New Paltz, according to an announcement by New York Sen. Chuck Schumer on Tuesday.
The funding is part of nearly $11 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hydroelectric Incentives Program, intended to upgrade hydroelectric facilities in Upstate New York, providing clean energy in an effort to combat climate change, Schumer’s office said in the announcement. Seven other projects in Upstate will receive funding, improving the efficiency and reliability of energy production, the announcement said.
The federal funding will help revitalize two units of the company’s Dashville hydroelectric facility in New Paltz, according to Central Hudson Director of Media Relations Joe Jenkins. The facility, constructed between 1919 and 1920 on the Wallkill River, will undergo a revamp with turbine replacements and generator rehabilitation.
Jenkins said the turbines “are nearing the end of their useable life.”
The federal funding will cover 30% of the total cost of the renovations, roughly $11.35 million, Jenkins said. “Once complete, the proposed project is expected to increase efficiency at the plant by more than 13%. So while it will still produce up to 5.36MW of emission-free electricity, it will require less water to reach that output,” Jenkins said in a statement when reached for comment.
“Central Hudson owns three hydroelectric plants in Ulster County that are capable of producing up to 23mw of electricity,” Jenkins said. “These plants help to offset the energy purchases we make on the open market for our customers and provide local sources of renewable energy.”
The funding comes as evidentiary hearings regarding Central Hudson’s requests to raise rates by 16% for electricity delivery rates and 19% for gas are winding down. While recommendations will be made by administrative judges, the results of the hearings will be up to the Public Service Commission.
Paul Kirby contributed to this report.