Besides operating the state's largest hydroelectric projects, the New York Power Authority also generates kilowatts (kw) from four small hydro stations. We developed these projects in the 1980s to reduce the state's dependence on electricity produced by burning foreign oil. Our small hydro projects, located on rivers and reservoirs across the state, do not affect the quality or quantity of the water, which is also used for recreation, navigation and drinking.
Here's a list of our small hydros:
The Power Authority began operating its first small hydro project on the Ashokan Reservoir, located in Ulster County near Kingston, in November 1982. Owned by New York City, the reservoir provides water that powers two turbine-generators to produce a total of 4,750 kw. After passing through the power project, this water continues its trek downstate for public consumption.
Named in honor of the 41-year-old payload specialist from the Mohawk Valley who was killed aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1986, this 9,000-kw facility began operation in June of that year. The power plant, containing two turbine-generators, is part of state-owned Hinckley Reservoir, which straddles Oneida and Herkimer counties and provides drinking water to the city of Utica. It is located about 20 miles from Mohawk Central High School, where Jarvis graduated in 1963.
The Crescent and Vischer Ferry plants, built in 1925 with two turbine-generators apiece, sit 10 miles apart on the Mohawk River, part of the Erie section of the State Barge Canal. In 1987, the Power Authority began expanding both projects, adding two new turbines to each powerhouse before rehabilitating the original units. Declared fully online in 1993, the two plants can generate 9,948 kw each. Pictured at left is the Crescent plant and below it is the Vischer Ferry plant.