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Blenheim-Gilboa Power Project Modernization Program to Begin in September; All Public Recreational Activities At Upper Reservoir To Close Sept. 5

Steve Ramsey

August 28, 2006


NORTH BLENHEIM—The New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) four-year, $135 million program to modernize and extend the life of the Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project is expected to officially begin in mid-September.

“Blenheim-Gilboa has been a vital part of the Power Authority’s generation mix since it began operation in 1973,” said Allen Schriver, NYPA’s regional manager for Central New York. “We want to ensure that it continues to run efficiently and effectively far into the future.”

The Life Extension and Modernization (LEM) program will include replacement of many of the major mechanical and electrical components of the project’s four pump-generating units, and maintenance and repairs to virtually all other parts.  The schedule calls for work on the first unit to be completed by May 2007, with the process repeated for the other three units beginning in the fall of 2007, 2008 and 2009.  The entire program is to be completed in May 2010.

The work on each unit will require that the water level of the project’s upper reservoir on top of Brown Mountain be reduced each fall, using cofferdams, to permit replacement of the spherical valves that control the flow of water into the powerhouse.

In preparation for the LEM, the Power Authority will close the upper reservoir, located on Kingsley Road in the Town of Gilboa, to all public recreational activities, including boating and shoreline fishing, on Sept. 5 to allow construction crews to mobilize.  

The lower reservoir will remain open to boating and shoreline fishing until Sept. 30. It may be accessed through Mine Kill State Park on Route 30 and is open from 7:30 a.m. until the park closes at dusk. Boaters obtaining special permits from the Power Authority and displaying them on their boats and trailers are allowed access to the lower reservoir.

The lower reservoir may be closed to boating at any time due to reasons associated with the LEM program or under other circumstances at the discretion of Power Authority security officials. 

 About NYPA:

■    NYPA 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-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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