The township entered into an agreement with Riverbank Power Corporation of Ontario, Canada to determine if the 100-year-old Limecrest Quarry could be developed into an underground hydro generation facility.
We went public with it at (the) council meeting we wanted to deal with the issues, any concerns, up front, Brady said, noting about 45 residents attended, along with principals from Riverbank and town engineers and planning board members. I had a positive feeling at the end of the meeting. Even people who had concerns, they all said they were glad they (Riverbank) were here, felt good about the project and the green aspects, the jobs it would generate.
Brady said its a unique deal in that it involved the township, limecrest, which is a private company, and a developer.
John Douglas, President and CEO of Riverbank said the next step is to engage an environmental site and state drilling the site, something they hope to begin in the spring. The studies theyve completed so far looks favorable.
Weve done a feasibility study and a lot of engineering work. We have to make sure we understand the impact of building on a quarry thats been in operation for 100 years, Douglas said. Its a great renewable energy project, its clean power with a lot of promise. Its take about two years to get the permits and $12 to $14 million in development work.
The project is expected to cost around $2 billion, all invested by Riverbank, and generate an estimated 1,000 construction jobs, which the firm said they will keep local. Its expected to bring in $5 million in annual revenue for the township for a lease period of up to 100 years through taxes and rent royalty.
Once the project is complete, it will utilize the water in the quarry to generate electricity through a closed loop system. The quarry will pass through underground turbines and then be returned to the surface. The resulting electricity will be supplied to a regional electric grid supplying several states in the Northeast.