Hydropower on the Millers River, Athol, Massachusetts
The Millers River cuts through the heart of Athol, Massachusetts, making the town a prime site for generating hydro-electricity. A former tool manufacturing mill that began providing warehousing services and leased space in the mid 1980s uses this technology to generate “green” electricity for its tenants, with a surplus to sell back to the grid. There is only one problem; the river is clogged with debris, which drastically limits production of the two operating turbines. By increasing the throughput of the waterflow, LP Athol will significantly increase the amount of electricity they generate. Indeed, in the spring and fall, when the water is running full-bore, the racks need to be raked every three hours to stay clear. And until recently that raking was manual. Picturesque perhaps. But back breaking and definitely not efficient.
Now, with a loan from BCLF, the family-owned L.P. Athol Corp. will be able to purchase debris-removal equipment, automating the process. By increasing the throughput of the waterflow, L.P. Athol will significantly increase the amount of electricity they generate.
Says Cindy Hartwell, New Business Development at L.P Athol Corps, of the project, “OR FoodEx became our tenant because we are able to provide hydropower. That economical power means they can expand their business, generating jobs, which is critical to Athol and the surrounding communities.”