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Watertown officials hear options to replace hydro revenue

Watertown city officials look at options for when hydroelectric deal expires
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 5:43 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Watertown city officials continue to plan for when the current National Grid hydro deal runs out.

Maryland firm Amber Energy was at a city council work session Monday night.

The company has been looking into options to address the loss of revenue when the city’s hydroelectric contract ends in 2030.

Its suggestions include selling power directly to residents through a state program at a reduced price from National Grid’s energy tariff. Another option is capitalizing on turbine money the city currently isn’t tapping into, which could bring in close to $750,000.

“That’s just revenue that we haven’t been capturing, didn’t know about, and is another benefit,” Mayor Jeff Smith said, “but there is still a lot of moving parts.”

“As you can see, our revenue stream right now is going to change dramatically to other streams of revenue,” said former Mayor Joe Butler Jr., who chairs the city’s hydroelectric task force, “and you did a good job highlighting those this evening, so I wanted to thank you for that.”

Butler says they’re taking these suggestions and their own findings to compile a report to present to the council in the next few months.

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