The end is near for construction on the West Potsdam Hydroelectric Dam and village officials say they are ready to put it to use. Construction started back in 2007, but many obstacles through the years held them back. Now, five years later, our Cara Thomas says the project is full speed ahead and could be done by the end of the summer.
POTSDAM, N.Y. -- Village officials are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now that the West Potsdam Hydroelectric Dam is almost complete. The Village of Potsdam began planning for the dam more than a decade ago, giving the village another form of revenue. Construction began in 2007, was supposed to be completed in 2008 and now everything seems to finally be coming together.
Potsdam's Village Administrator David Fenton said, "It's an exciting time because you actually see the turbine going together and it's going together well. And you know we're really excited that it's finally happening."
Just this week, all the parts came in and construction is fully under way. Fenton says the only thing that might stand in the way is getting a connection directly to the grid. The Village of Potsdam has been working alongside National Grid on the project. And because there are so many generators connected to this particular circuit, Fenton says National Grid is being cautious.
He said, "If something were to go array in one of those places, it could really screw up the voltage in the village and upset that particular grid, so they want to make sure that all the power sources that are putting power into this grid are under control and can be regulated."
Fenton says village officials are ready for the dam to begin paying for itself. He says with the amount of electricity they can sell to the grid, the revenue will be able to keep tax rates down. Fenton says they hope the dam will be completed by the end of the summer or early fall.
Fenton says they are working with National Grid to find a way to connect the dam and the grid. He says he believes they will be able to find a solution and doesn't think it will stall the project.