Modernizing Great Falls Hydroelectric Power Plant: Menendez, Pascrell, Torres Announce Paterson's Plans For Energy Efficiency Funding

Modernizing Great Falls Hydroelectric Power Plant: Menendez, Pascrell, Torres Announce Paterson's Plans For Energy Efficiency Funding

Menendez created energy efficiency program, helped get $73 million for NJ cities, towns and municipalities in economic recovery package

Paterson - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (NJ-8), Paterson Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres, and Board of Public Utilities Commissioner Joseph Fiordaliso announced today that Paterson is planning a modernization of the hydroelectric power plant at Great Falls with energy efficiency funding from the economic recovery package. Today is the deadline for cities, towns and counties to apply for their share of the funding. The power plant upgrades would include planning for increased electricity generation and making the facilities more energy efficient with solar panels and other improvements.

Menendez created the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants program in Congress in 2007, and he helped secure $73 million for New Jersey cities, towns and counties in the recovery package. Paterson will receive a total of $1,344,800 and will also use funds to make city, street, and recreation facility lights more energy efficient and study energy efficiency upgrades for city buildings. The program is meant to support municipal energy-saving initiatives and improves energy efficiency in transportation, buildings, and other sectors.

"The more we can harness the power of water, wind and the sun for our energy needs, the better we can lay the foundation for economic security in the 21st Century," said Menendez. "We need to aggressively look into the job creation, energy cost savings and environmental benefits of clean energy projects, like the possibility of modernizing the hydroelectric plant at Great Falls. Through investments in energy efficiency projects, we can create employment in these tough times, save families money and clean the air we breathe. This program in particular will also help cash-strapped local governments realize savings, allowing them to sustain jobs and local services for their residents."

"At a time when there is renewed national appreciation for the historic significance and natural beauty of Paterson's Great Falls, I am proud to stand here today on the cusp of a project that seeks to tap into the power surging through these caverns," said U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8), a former Paterson mayor and member of the House Ways and Means Committee."The investigation of the Great Falls as a potential source of hydroelectric and solar power is a renaissance in itself of the hope and vision Alexander Hamilton had when he looked upon this great waterway more than 200 years ago."

"The influx of federal funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program will allow the City of Paterson to explore energy savings that in the long run, will protect our environment and save money," said Paterson Mayor Jose Torres. "The Great Falls Hydroelectric Power Plant can provide energy for up to 11,000 homes, and creating this energy with a natural resource, is already a step in the right direction. I look forward to implementing the projects that we have delineated and will receive federal funding for, and will continue to explore new avenues towards energy efficiency."

The Great Falls Power Plant was built in 1914, and it generates 11,000 kilowatts of clean energy per hour, which it sells to PSE&G. The building is old and energy inefficient, and there may be potential for more power generation in the waterways around the Falls.

Paterson's planned use for its energy efficiency funding includes:

· Evaluation the potential for increased power generation at Great Falls through the installation of "micro turbines" in the waterways around the Falls (the Great Falls Raceway System)

· Installation of solar power panels on the existing power plant building and the grounds of the plant complex
· A study on the energy efficiency of the power plant complex and other city buildings
· An upgrade to more energy efficient lighting on city streets and recreation facilities.
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