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Power Authority Trustees Award Contract to Two N.Y. State Firms for Work on Blenheim-Gilboa Facility

Paul DeMichele
Michael Saltzman
(914) 390-8181  

May 20, 2009


WHITE PLAINS—New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel today announced  the competitive award of two contracts to firms in Northern New York and the Capital District, totaling about $2.8 million, in support of work to be done at NYPA’s Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project in the Northern Catskills. 

“These contracts will provide key services to our Blenheim-Gilboa facility,” Kessel said. “The Power Authority does hundreds of millions of dollars in business every year with New York enterprises in connection with our contributions for the state’s electric power system, economy and environment. We are always delighted to be able to stimulate local New York businesses through our Trustees’ contract approval process.” 

The contracts, which were approved by the NYPA Trustees on Tuesday, are being awarded to D.A. Collins Co., of Mechanicville in Saratoga County, for the refurbishment of tainter gates (used to control water flow) and to Northline Utilities, of Au Sable Forks in Essex County, for installation and replacement of circuit breakers. 

D.A. Collins Co. was awarded a nearly $2.2 million contract for work on two of the Blenheim-Gilboa project’s three tainter gates. The gates must be maintained in order to ensure proper operation so that water can flow easily from the project’s upper reservoir and avoid overtopping the dam. Following detailed inspections in 2007 and 2008, NYPA determined that the gates would need to be refurbished. Under the terms of the contract, the gates will be worked on over the next two years. 

D.A. Collins Co, the lowest-priced bidder, last year completed work at NYPA’s Crescent small-hydro plant on the Mohawk River, in the Capital District, as well as work on Blenheim-Gilboa’s other tainter gate. 

Northline Utilities was awarded a $604,000 contract for installation of new circuit breakers at the Blenheim-Gilboa project. In 2002, NYPA instituted a program to replace all nine of the existing circuit breakers at the facility. Since that time, seven of the circuit breakers have been replaced, with Northline Utilities slated to install the final two circuit breakers over the next two years. 

NYPA’s Blenheim-Gilboa project is a special type of hydroelectric facility that operates like a giant storage battery. In peak demand periods, hundreds of thousands of gallons of water are released from the upper reservoir. The water plunges 1,200 feet within Brown Mountain to power four turbine-generators that can produce more than one million kilowatts of electricity and then flows into a lower reservoir on the Schoharie Creek. At night and on weekends, when demand is lower, the water is pumped back to the upper reservoir, using economical electricity from other sources. 

  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.   For more information,

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