Hydropower is our history our present and our future. Many of our cities throughout CT and the northeast were founded because there was a source of waterpower to support growing industry. Today most of our industry is gone but these sources of clean power are still operating.
As we move forward with a transition to a clean modern power grid, small distributed power sources are key. We will no longer have a single large coal or oil fired plant supporting an entire region. One of the largest challenges with a clean grid is that most renewable generation sources are not as power dense as fossil fuels. This means many smaller distributed generation sources.
However, hydropower is unique among renewables. With the proper electronics, hydropower can provide black start capabilities and frequency control as well as a better quality of power. So long as sufficient water flows are available, hydropower provides firm power production and can be dispatched in less than a minute.
CT's Renewable Energy Landscape
Connecticut's energy landscape is roughly 40% Nuclear, 55% Gas, 5% Renewable. Hydropower makes up nearly 25% of these Renewables (eia.gov).
However, hydropower is in need of supportive State Policy in order to continue this significant contribution toward CT's clean energy goals.
In addition to clean electrons, hydropower provides the following benefits:
1 - Direct cash benefit based on salaries, O&M costs, local spending, property taxes, etc. per National Renewable Energy Lab JEDI model estimates.
If we allow hydropower to fail, we will jeopardize:
Private funding for fish passage
Waterfront housing and property values
Private funding for dam maintenance
Public Safety along rivers