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Gouverneur signs power purchase agreement

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GOUVERNEUR — The village Board of Trustees approved a two-year power purchase and interconnection agreement with National Grid at a special meeting Thursday that will allow the village time to explore hydroelectric options.

“It’s not great for us, but at least it’s something,” Trustee Charles W. Newvine said. “We’re not losing. It will allow us to dig deeper.”

The village’s hydroelectric plant on the Oswegatchie River produces enough power for village streetlights, the municipal building and the water plant. Excess power is sold for 2 cents per kilowatt hour.

National Grid discovered an agreement with the village was overdue, but the village board had delayed approval in the hopes of negotiating a better price. It stood to lose all revenue if an agreement was not signed by April 30.

The two-year contract is for the same amount of money but provides a 30-day escape clause.

“We’re comfortable with the amendments,” Mayor Ronald P. McDougall said. “It passes the auditors for National Grid and continues our payment.”

The March check to the village was $1,639, he said.

The contract will give the village the time it needs to settle its license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and determine if it should upgrade the facility, Mr. Newvine said.

“In two years when the contract is up again, we’ll be in a better position to bargain,” he said.

Mr. Newvine said he thought the village should form a committee to study the plant and whether the village could make more selling its power elsewhere.

“This is a resource I think people overlook,” he said.

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