Hydrokinetic Opportunities

An ongoing HG&E initiative is to establish the Holyoke Canal System as a test bed for pre-commercial hydro technologies, with the long term goal being commercial innovative hydro development in existing hydroelectric station tailraces.  If you are a hydrokinetic vendor looking to test your system in a real-life environment and analyze operational data, contact us today about potential demonstration opportunities.  Preference is given to innovative hydro vendors looking to establish manufacturing facilities in Massachusetts, and specifically Holyoke. 

Holyoke Hydro System

HG&E owns the Holyoke Dam and Hadley Falls Hydroelectric Facility on the Connecticut River in Holyoke, MA.  The existing infrastructure, as well as the River itself, provides opportunity for hydrokinetic and other fish-friendly innovative hydro technologies.  In addition, an extensive 3-tiered, 4.5 mile power generation Canal System runs through Holyoke.  HG&E has control over the water flowing through this system and there is a fish exclusion facility located right at its entrance, making it ideal for innovative hydro testing.

ADCP Study

In partnership with Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the City of Holyoke Gas & Electric Department (HG&E) completed an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) velocity analysis and computational fluid dynamic model of the Holyoke Hydro System.  The development of this model, which shows water velocities at various flow rates within the Holyoke Canal System and in the Hadley Falls tailrace, is the first step in characterizing the available hydrokinetic resource within the Holyoke Hydro System.  Data collected and analyzed through this study can be used to project the output of an innovative hydro unit that gets installed within the Holyoke Hydro System, which is necessary for determining site feasibility, gauging observed performance and evaluating project financial thresholds.  A full copy of the report detailing study results is publically available.

Expedited Permitting

HG&E worked with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to develop an expedited permitting process for innovative hydro demonstrations specifically within the Holyoke Canal System. 

Dedicated Staff

HG&E employs dedicated staff specifically focused on clean and alternative energy generation growth opportunities.  Accordingly, in-kind support can be provided to help you apply for grant funding, and project planning and permit application processes for a hydrokinetic demonstration within the Holyoke Hydroelectric System.

These important partnerships help HG&E achieve extremely high levels of carbon-free and renewable content, while providing customers some of the lowest rates in the region. In fact, in 2020, 81% of Holyoke’s electricity came from carbon-free resources (see simple graph). HG&E continues to build and expand a network that will allow us to meet and exceed aggressive clean energy objectives and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

For more information, please contact us!



Contact Info

99 Suffolk Street
Holyoke, MA 01040
Tel: (413) 536-9300
Toll-free: (877) 742-5443