Project Overview - St. Lawrence-FDR Project

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Spanning the U.S.-Canadian border at Massena, New York, is an international hydroelectric facility that produces some of the cleanest and cheapest power in North America. The U.S. portion of this project is the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project; on the Canadian side is the Robert H. Saunders Generating Station.

The heart of this project, which generated first power in 1958, is the Robert Moses-Robert H. Saunders Power Dam, built cooperatively by the New York Power Authority and Ontario Hydro (now known as Ontario Power Generation). The dam's 32 turbine-generators are divided equally by the international border and are operated independently by the two utilities. The Power Authority's 16 generating units can produce more than 900,000 kilowatts of electricity, more than enough to light a city the size of Washington, D.C., which has a population of 607,000!

Forty years after St. Lawrence-FDR produced its first power, NYPA began an ambitious 15-year Life Extension and Modernization at the project. Most of the original equipment in the power house of the Robert Moses Power Dam is being replaced or renovated at a cost of some $254 million to ensure reliable power production for the future. Our present schedule calls for each of the project's 16 turbine-generators to be completely refurbished by 2013.

But the St. Lawrence-FDR project is much more than its power dam. The entire project stretches over the St. Lawrence River Valley for more than 30 miles. It includes two control structures—the Iroquois and Long Sault dams—upstream, along with almost 11 miles of dikes that help form Lake St. Lawrence. And we've built thousands of acres of public parkland along the river for recreational enjoyment and wildlife preservation. We also have a visitors center located at Hawkins Point, which has an outstanding view of the Moses-Saunders Power Dam.

The economic benefits of St. Lawrence-FDR are far-reaching. More than half of the project's output supplies the region's two largest industries, which employ thousands of North Country residents: the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) and General Motors Corporation (GM Powertrain). Other recipients of the project's hydroelectric power include upstate private utilities for resale without profit to residential and farm consumers, as well as public service entities in the New York City and Niagara Falls regions.

The photo at the top of this page is the Robert Moses-Robert H. Saunders Power Dam.

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