Hydropower Project

There is a proposal to use the existing Indian Lake dam to generate electricity, increasing the supply of renewable energy and lessening the need for fossil fuel power production.

The history of past efforts to install a hydroelectric power plant below the dam is a long and frustrating one. If you are interested in learning more about that history, and the full story behind the merits of the project, please follow this link to an article published in the Adirondack Almanack: Once Upon a Dam – – The Adirondack Almanack. You can also click here for a PowerPoint presentation on the current proposal. The ILA welcomes feedback, questions and comments from readers who have an opinion for or against the dam proposal. At the present time, the ILA is trying to educate and inform interested parties, especially residents of Hamilton County. So far, we have made contact with, and received feedback from our State Assemblyman Robert Smullen, our Town Supervisor Brian Wells, the CEO and the Board Chairman of the Hudson River Black River Regulating District (HRBRRD), State Senators Dan Stec and James Tedisco, former State Senator Betty Little, and Protect the Adirondacks’ director Peter Bauer. The feedback has been mixed, with the main theme being that the idea is admirable and possible, but there are many obstacles that need to be overcome, especially in terms of convincing the DEC and the state legislature that the project is worthwhile. Our research has shown that the technical aspects of putting in a hydropower generator below the existing dam would involve constructing a small building immediately downstream from the dam itself, with a penstock or water duct connecting the dam outlet to the powerplant. The turbines and other machinery that make up the generator would be in that powerplant, so the effect on and risk to the dam itself is negligible. The powerplant would have to be connected to new transmission lines that would deliver the electricity to the local power grid. There are already powerlines very near the dam along Indian Lake Dam Road and Jerry Savarie Road, so no significant threat to the forest around the dam would exist in any needed upgrades.

Once again, the ILA welcomes feedback, questions and comments from readers who have an opinion for or against the dam proposal. A grass-roots effort from the residents of Indian Lake and Hamilton County would go a long way toward convincing the HRBRRD, the DEC, and the State government that the project’s time has truly come! Let’s hear from you!

Use the form below to comment or ask questions about the proposal.