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Fish friendly turbine in Hanover Pond in Meriden; first of its kind in the US

MERIDEN -- At Hanover Pond in Meriden, they’re bringing out the big screw.

In the little house, next to this scenic dam, could be the newest but oldest invention.

According to Michael Kerr, CEO of New England Hydropower, "Nobody knew about the Archimedes screw as a renewable source of energy."

The screw takes water from the pond and lowers it slowly. As it turns, the weight of the water is converted into electricity. It goes into the screw, and the screw turns, because there’s a weight of water turning it, and it pops out in the bottom back into the river.

The Archimedes screw is over 2000 years old, but using it for hydro energy purposes though, is a new thing.

Archimedes was a Greek scholar. He created this in 200 BC, a little differently. He designed a screw pump to raise water with the screw where it reverses the process. And now, the free energy goes into Meriden's power supply.

It can produce a million kilowatt-hours per year, that’s enough energy for 160 homes annually. Amazingly, for a screw that’s turned for 2000 years, this is the first one in the U.S. turning for electricity.

Dams built for energy sources in America’s industrial age are once again open for business. And if you’re worried about the fish in Hanover pond? Don’t.

According to Roger Hutton, Chief Engineer, "If fish get into them, if leaves in the fall get into it, they get into the big pockets of water, they ride down, no harm done.”

Just like a ride at Six Flags for fish.