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St. Lawrence Power Project Relicensing

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St. Lawrence- Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project

St. Lawrence-FDR projectThe Power Authority's history began with hydropower, and our first generating facility is the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project, located on New York's border with Canada. We began producing hydroelectricity here in 1958, the result of a cooperative effort between the U.S. and Canada. Adjacent to our project is Ontario Power Generation's Robert H. Saunders Generating Station, which shares with us a power dam that stretches across the St. Lawrence River the length of 10 football fields.

The Robert Moses-Robert H. Saunders Power Dam

The Robert Moses-Robert H. Saunders Power Dam has 32 turbine-generators, divided equally by the international border and operated independently by each utility. The Power Authority's 16 generating units can produce more than 900,000 kilowatts of electricity, more than enough to light the cities of Albany, Buffalo and Syracuse!

Photo: Life Extension and Modernization program at St. Lawrence-FDR projectIn 1998, the Power Authority began a $281-million Life Extension and Modernization program at its St. Lawrence-FDR project. Besides replacing all 16 turbines, workers are rebuilding or renovating the rest of the power dam's generating equipment, with a scheduled completion date of 2013 (read more).

Here's how it works:

The St. Lawrence River carries the outflow of all five of the Great Lakes, the world's largest source of fresh water, to the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way, river water pours into the power dam's intakes and falls about 80 feet into the spiral-shaped scroll case encircling each turbine. As this rushing water turns a turbine, an attached rotor spins inside a stator, a ring of tightly bound copper wires in a generator, creating an electric current.

The Robert Moses-Robert H. Saunders Power DamHydroelectricity is safe, clean, reliable and inexpensive. The economic benefits of St. Lawrence-FDR are far-reaching. More than half of the project's output supplies local industries that employ several thousand of New York's North Country residents.

Our entire power project stretches over the St. Lawrence River Valley for 37 miles, within the Towns of Waddington, Louisville and Massena. Besides the main power plant, it includes two control structures upstream: the Iroquois and Long Sault dams. And we've built thousands of acres of parkland along the river for recreational enjoyment and wildlife preservation. In 2005, we opened a new power project visitors center at nearby Hawkins Point, where interactiveexhibits and panoramic views showhow St.Lawrence-FDR converts rushing water into clean, reliable hydroelectricity.

Hawkins Point Visitors CenterThe 50-year federal license that allowed the Power Authority to build and operate the St. Lawrence-FDR project expired in 2003. A relicensing process, aimed at securing federal and state approvals to continue project operation, was completed, and a new license was issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on October 23, 2003.