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Power is once again being generated at upper Collinsville dam

COLLINSVILLE –The hydropower plant at the upper Collinsville dam is once again generating power, according to representatives from Canton Hydro, LLC.

Armin Moehrle, one of the partners in the company, sent an email to the town in mid December noting that power was being generated at the facility.

There is a long history of power generation at the site and the Collins Company first build a timber dam in the vicinity in 1837. The present upper stone masonry dam was constructed in 1867. The company closed in the mid 1960s and the facilities were later turned over to the state of Connecticut.

Canton Hydro formed following a Request for Proposals to develop the dam in 2015. The town by then had worked on the project for several years, working with consultants, state and federal legislators, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, state and congressional representatives, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

While some initial construction began in December of 2018, the plant was officially commissioned in March of 2021.

In past interviews, Canton Hydro, LLC has stated the dam has a capacity of 1,000 kilowatts and estimated it will generate an average 4.35 GWh annual, enough to power 485 Connecticut homes and offset 3.2 metric tons of CO2 annually.

The project also includes a Denil Fishway passage, complete with a 180-foot long, three-foot high fish guidance barrier to guide fish upstream

While the plant is generating power, construction continues, notably on the automatic crest gates, a form of water control that will raise the water in the “mill pond” portion of the Farmington River behind the dam and allow the plant to generate at its maximum capacity.

That work will be weather dependent, Moehrle told The Valley Press, noting that if it’s not done in January, the company will likely need to wait until as late as June, due to the likelihood of higher water in the months in between.

– John Fitts


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