NYPA’s Blenheim-Gilboa Power Project And Visitors Center Record Banner Year


Steve Ramsey

Sarah Huvane

January 26, 2011


NORTH BLENHEIM— At the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Blenheim-Gilboa (B-G) Pumped Storage Power Project and Visitors Center, 2010 was a banner year.  In June, a nearly four-year, $135 million life extension and modernization project (LEM) was completed on time and on budget.  The LEM goal was to improve the reliability and efficiency of the project for years to come. The year 2010 closed with the Blenheim-Gilboa Visitors Center Complex, including the Historic Lansing Manor, recording nearly 49,000 visitors.

Educational programs offered by the visitors center’s staff accounted for the largest share of the total attendance. In 2010, over 8,000 students benefited from an array of programs on energy and the environment.  As part of the LEM project the visitors center inherited a piece of history from the B-G Power Project. A major component of the project’s four turbine generating unit— a runner— was salvaged and is now on display outside the visitors center.  It is one of the four runners that generated over 48 million megawatt hours (MWh) of power between June 1973 when the plant was commissioned and September 2009 when this runner, the last of the original runners, was removed from service.  The whole of New York City could be powered for an entire year with the electricity generated by 48 million MWh.

“The Blenheim-Gilboa Power Project is one of the jewels of the Power Authority’s portfolio due to the clean power it produces and also because of the great resources it provides to the community through the various outreach efforts and events hosted at its visitors center,” said Richard M. Kessel, president and chief executive officer, NYPA. “We are proud to have a hand in creating something that is both a valuable community resource and a significant tourist attraction.”

In addition to the reliable energy and community benefits provided directly by the project, over the past twenty years, NYPA has financed nearly $11.5 million to improve energy efficiency at 23 state and local government facilities in the Mohawk Valley which annually save taxpayers about $1.2 million and has helped avoid nearly 10,000 tons of greenhouse gases.

NYPA’s handicapped-accessible visitors center is housed in a restored 19th-century dairy barn and features hands-on exhibits for students of all ages and abilities. Visitors can learn how the B-G Power Project acts like a giant battery, generating hydroelectricity while recycling water between two huge reservoirs. Other displays demonstrate the basics of electricity, energy production and conservation. The visitors center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The Blenheim-Gilboa Visitors Center is located on Route 30, five miles north of Grand Gorge, 17 miles south of Middleburgh and 50 miles southwest of Albany. School groups and community organizations are welcome. For more information, call 800-724-0309 or visit www.nypa.gov.


About NYPA:

■ The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■ NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives. ■ It is the nation's largest state public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ Approximately 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower.  Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state. ■For more information, www.nypa.gov.


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