Dalton- State Representative Denis E. Guyer (D-Dalton) and State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) announced today that Crane and Company has been awarded by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Renewable Energy Trust Fund a Large Onsite Renewables Initiatives (LORI) Design and Construction Grant, in the amount of $500,000.
This grant will help fund the design and construction of a small hydropower generation facility at Crane and Co.’s Byron Weston Centennial Mills and the Byron Weston Dam No.2, located on the East Branch of the Housatonic River in Dalton.
Specifically, the money will be used to replace the existing turbines with a new Kaplan turbine, the installation of new electrical equipment and modification of ancillary civil structures. Crane believes the project’s total cost will be over $1.3 million. It is estimated that the project will produce 837MWh of power each year.
State Representative Guyer expressed his gratitude for this award today saying, “I am delighted that MTC has awarded this grant to Crane, which is an important employer in my district. Crane has a long history of environmental stewardship on the Housatonic River and has been a leader in using renewable energy sources as well as renewable materials for papermaking for over two hundred years. It is my hope that the investment that Crane is making in hydro power will allow the company to better control and predict their energy costs in the future.”
James Noel, the Manager of Environmental Affairs at Crane and Co. commented on the grant saying, “Crane and Co. is very pleased to receive this assistance from the MTC. The company can now proceed with further analysis of the project, knowing that this grant makes it more financially feasible.” Noel continued saying, “Crane has a long history of environmental stewardship. The Housatonic River was our first source of renewable power in 1801 and hopefully we can renew the tradition in the 21st Century.”
A total of forty-two grants were awarded statewide in Round 4 of the LORI grants. The aim of these awards is “to expand the production and use of distributed renewable energy technologies in Massachusetts,” according to the MTC website. Approximately $3.75million was available to applicants in this round of awards.
“Crane and Co.’s commitment to finding ways of reducing their environmental impact serves as a model for other companies across the Commonwealth,” stated Downing. “MTC’s Renewable Energy Trust is making great strides in bolstering the clean energy economy and this funding will help Crane continue their legacy of sustainable practices.”
For information on Round 5 of the MTC Renewable Energy Trust fund LORI grants please visit http://www.mtpc.org/renewableenergy/large_renewables.htm.