Hydropower in Canton needs a charge

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CANTON–The desire to generate green energy from the Farmington River in the Collinsville section of Canton appears to have dimmed somewhat.

Congress passed a bill over the summer to allow the Collinsville dam and the dam downstream from it to generate hydroelectricity again. The problem has been finding a company to partner with the town on the project.

There were two vendors interested, but both dropped out of the bidding process because of concerns that the dams need significant repairs to handle hydropower generation.

The town was looking to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for help. “The state does have bond money available for doing evaluations of dams that they own and also of making corrective actions on them,” Canton’s First Selectman Dick Barlow said.

Barlow said the project will go out for bids again early next year.

He estimated that fitting the two dams to generate power again will cost about $7 million per dam.

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