Community Hydroelectricity in Pennsylvania

It is obvious to everyone that petroleum and fission products for power generation need to be developed for specific uses and not for general use throughout our Commonwealth. Specific uses include power for our cities and possibly for certain industrial zones outside cities.

The use of Hydroelectricity in local communities is common worldwide, especially in areas where there is an abundance of streams and rivers. Pennsylvania is second only to Alaska in this abundant resource in the United States, but thus far it has not been utilized to any reasonable extent. In the past, hydroelectricity has been epitomized by dams such as the Hoover Dam and similar huge and inefficient, but massive and expensive projects. Considering the loss of power as it is transported from its place of generation to its place of use and the environmental and community costs of these huge dams, it is time for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to work to update its present format of power generation, for the next generation.

Low Head hydroelectric power generation is used throughout the world in both under-developed and fully developed countries. The technology used is sturdy and efficient and can be updated to some extent to be specifically made for Pennsylvania and other Appalachian solutions. At little or no cost, a competition among Pennsylvania Engineering Universities with an award provided by a consortium of PPL and other utilities for an entire “Hydroelectric package for Pennsylvania Communities” that provides boilerplate plans that would fit any community alongside a river or large stream. These plans would be set up for different “Heads”, or the amount of drop in feet per a specific length of river, and would be pre-approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for use by our communities or even private use. Funding for community use would be through local banks and would be guaranteed by the state as long as specific contracts are followed. After loans are paid off by the sale of electricity to utilities, income would be generated for those communities for use for tax reduction, local services, new fire engines or other emergency equipment or training.

The generating facilities would be built by Pennsylvania contractors with local work forces, and would be maintained by the communities themselves, which would provide long term jobs held by local people, probably having one person maintain a number of sites, with Pennsylvania contractors doing larger repairs. The generators and other equipment developed by the consortium for power generation could be manufactured in Pennsylvania by local labor as well, and the design and equipment could be exported both nationally and internationally as a Pennsylvania based industry if we remain competitive and retain high quality.

Imagine the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with power generation that provides reasonably priced, consistent power to our communities and people near to the place where that power is generated, saving even more money. Clean, consistent, and safe hydroelectric power that enables our coal and petroleum supplies to be utilized where they are most effective, while providing non-tax base income for our communities.