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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Trans Canada Hopes To Sell Dams on Connecticut River

Valley News is reporting that Trans Canada is planning on selling dams along the Connecticut River:

"West Lebanon — As part of its effort to finance a new Houston-based natural gas acquisition, Trans Canada Hydro Northeast is looking to sell its New England power generation business, including its hydroelectric dams on the Connecticut River.

At stake are not only some of the most lucrative assets on the river, but control of a critical natural resource in the Twin States. The Wilder, Bellows Falls and Vernon, Vt. dams are among the assets Trans Canada plans to sell."

More here. Seems like they see a future in pipelines instead.


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Socialize them

Form a bi-state authority to own and operate the cams on behalf ot the people of VT & NH


Let's get one

It would be an interesting use of Energy funds if they went toward the purchase of hydro. : )

Do you think our region could come up with the $30m or so for the Vernon dam? What sort of maintenance would it require?

This could power the data center... : )


No Chance

First, TransCanada looks to be bundling all their power assets in the Northeast so they aren't just going to sell one. Second, a 100+ year old dam with 10 turbine-generators needs a lot of maintenance and support staff which isn't economical by itself.

I figure it will be someone like a Brookfield Power or equity firm similar to who just bought Northfield Mtn and associated dams.


Dam old

I kinda figured maintenance would be the drawback. It's probably why they are selling them.

Would a buyer be required to keep them, or could someone buy them up and tear them down, or even replace them with new ones?



Would the state pay $500,000,000 - $1,000,000,000 just to remove them?


Doesn't need to be the state.

Doesn't need to be the state. Would anyone pay that much to tear them down and replace them?

The question I'm getting at is really what value do they really have? If they are in need of great maintenance, building new might solve that, but the cost seems prohibitive. Keeping old utilities running adds costs, and might make the profit margin too slim for investors. They can't just sit, wear out and fail.

Should Trans Canada start a decommissioning fund? : )


2008 Rehab & Upgrade

The 32.4-MW Vernon hydroelectric project celebrated its centennial of operation in 2009. In 2008, TransCanada conducted extensive rehabilitation and upgrading at the project, This work included upgrading four of the original 100-year old units at the plant to increase annual generation to 40 MW.



Dams, not Cams


Gov. Douglas’ opposition

Gov. Douglas’ opposition to purchasing them came on ideological grounds. When asked why he opposed the purchase, he quipped “What do you think I am, a Fu%#ing Communist?

Howard Dean says ” I opposed this purchase when Mike Obuchowsli suggested it during my governorship. Despite the huge price tag I now think we should take a serious look at buying these dams for the green power and for good environmental management.”

Commenter Ross Saxton (VT Digger) says “State control of these dams would certainly allow for more ecologically-minded controlled flow rates to benefit our fisheries. Plus, this opens up the incredibly rare opportunity to knock them down and return the CT River to its former glory of a massively productive fishery that could support salmon runs like no one alive today has ever seen in Vermont or New Hampshire. Can you imagine the tourism derived from healthy salmon runs? The upper CT River would become a world destination for salmon fishing and spawn viewing. Reverting these dam sites to what was there before their existences might sound extreme, but remember, building these dams was extreme to begin with.”
(Interesting option)


Sure Why Not?

Yeah "let's socialize them". The government does such a great job of running everything else why not let them blow our electric bills as high as our taxes and healthcare costs.


Health care costs

You still think it's the government that's keeping health care costs high?
Do your homework.


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