Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Montco dam potential to be examined

NORRISTOWN Montgomery County is exploring whether the Norristown Dam on the Schuylkill would support a hydroelectric power system.

A nationwide study by Oakridge National Laboratory identified the 869-foot-long, 12-foot-high dam as a potential hydroelectric site, estimating that it could generate 12 million kilowatts per year - enough to power 3,600 homes, said Ken Starr, county director of assets and infrastructure.

The county commissioners on Thursday agreed to spend $50,000 and to request another $50,000 from the state to fund a study of the dam's water flow, conduct site-mapping, and work up cost estimates and a preliminary environmental impact analysis for such a system.

If the study finds the project is feasible, the county would request another grant from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to help install the system, and possibly seek a partner to run the system or buy the dam from the county.

- Jessica Parks

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