Hydropower eyes bigger energy role, less environmental harm

Posted at 10:15 PM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-19 01:15:19-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eight locks and dams in southwestern Pennsylvania that for decades helped barges move goods along the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers could in a few years also generate enough hydropower for 75,000 homes.

A Boston-based hydropower company is retrofitting the dams with turbines to generate electricity and says the upgraded structures will limit damage to the rivers’ water quality and fish.

As the U.S. pushes to transition to low-carbon energy, some companies see an opportunity to expand hydropower generation at existing dams while minimizing environmental harms.

It reflects a surprising alliance that has emerged between the industry and conservation groups.