Collinsville Dam Will Bring Power to More CT Customers

  • Added:
    Aug 19, 2014
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Collinsville Dam Will Bring Power to More CT Customers Photo by Michelle Erca

Residents of the United States have been using dirty sources of electrical energy for a very long time. Energy resources that should be considered outdated are still used with frivolous abundance. In fact, the country’s number one energy resource, coal (39 percent of the United States’ total energy production), also happens to be the dirtiest and most dated. Fortunately, we do have access to energy resources that produce as little as zero total emissions. Thanks to a combination of increased awareness about the negative impact that fossil fuels are having on our global environment and economy—gas prices aren’t rising faster than inflation arbitrarily—renewable, low emission energy resources are growing in use.
One such renewable resource has been used as a source of power for longer than coal. That resource is water. Connecticut is taking advantage of this power by expanding the use of hydroelectricity in the Collinsville area.

Connecticut will be using hydropower?

Yes. Believe it or not, the Hoover Dam is not the only hydropower resource in the United States. In fact, there are over 1,600 hydroelectric facilities across the country; this accounts for about eight percent of our nation’s total energy production.

The State of Connecticut is no exception in this regard, as there are several hydropower facilities in existence across the entire state.

How will Connecticut be expanding hydropower use?

The state is not enacting construction of any new hydroelectric facilities; there is no need to. Instead, they are working with energy suppliers in CT to reactivate two currently unused hydropower dams. Both of the dams are in Collinsville and were originally built to power the Collins Company, which primarily made axes. The dams have been inactive since the 1960s when the Collins Company closed.

What’s so great about hydropower?

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, our nation is at an impasse: While it is very possible for us to continue using all existing fossil fuels without restraint for the rest of our lifetimes, its cost will inevitably go up due to concerns over dwindling supplies; this will in turn energy suppliers in CT—and everywhere else—to exponentially increase how much they charge their customers. And let’s not forget about the environmental impact. That is why The State of Connecticut is working feverishly to move away from fossil fuels as a primary energy resource.

Hydropower creates no such issues, since it offers an unlimited cycle of kinetic energy that can easily transformed into electricity and its negligible emissions are second only to solar and wind, both of which produce exactly zero emissions.

Whose idea was it to expand hydropower usage in CT?

The effort to reopen the Collinsville dams is wrought from a federal government effort that is being spearheaded by Connecticut’s own congressional representatives, Representative Elizabeth Esty and Senator Chris Murphy. The proposal set forth by these two congressmen received overwhelming support (a 379-3 vote of approval) from the house and is expected to be signed into law by the president within the next week.

This is the first piece of legislation introduced by Rep. Esty since she was elected in 2012
How many hydropower resources will be available to CT residents as a result of the state’s efforts?
The Upper and Lower Collinsville dam will produce about 2 megawatts of power—that is 2 megawatts of power that was allowed to drift away uselessly until now.

How many residents of CT will benefit from this new access to hydropower?

Despite the fact that the twin Collinsville Dams once existed solely to power only one company, they will produce enough power to consistently power over 1,500 homes all around the Farmington Valley. The additional power is especially beneficial at a time when there are shortages in energy resources due to the unusually tumultuous winter of 2013—these hydropower dams will never suffer from a lack of resources, and therefore will never harm energy rates. This will be a huge boon for the state’s residents, who already struggle with high energy rates in CT.

To learn more about Connecticut’s green energy initiatives, or to find out how to switch to a CT electric supplier that provides green energy like hydropower, visit CTEnergySavings.com. They will provide you with a comprehensive list of energy suppliers in CT that includes details such as their rate, contract terms and the type of energy they use.

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