‘The FERC licence amendment allows us to replace one of the turbine runners and modify the generator at this project, thereby increasing the output at this site from 28MW to 31MW,’ said David Youlen, Brookfield Power’s vice president of New York operations.

According to Youlen, this is the first Brookfield Power project to be eligible for renewable production tax credits, which were implemented as part of the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005. ‘The federal tax credit incentive helps justify the economics of placing additional units at existing plants and performing upgrades similar to the Piney runner modification,’ he said.

The Piney plant currently features three hydro turbines. As part of the modifications, Brookfield Power will replace the turbine runner of Unit #2, resulting in an increase from 152.8m3/sec to 158.5m3/sec in the project’s maximum hydraulic capacity. The turbine output will increase from 8MW to 12MW. Modification of the equipment began in early June, and the incremental power increase will be available by the fall of 2006.

Pending approval from the FERC, Brookfield Power’s portfolio improvement plan also proposes modifications/upgrades at several hydro power projects in New York State that will add more than 19MW of incremental power over the next year-and-a-half.