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Allegheny County Government Facilities To Be Powered By New Hydroplant

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Allegheny County is entering into a 35-year agreement to buy renewable energy from a new hydropower plant on the Ohio River.

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced the agreement with Rye Development at a virtual press conference Thursday.

"We're going to use our rivers to produce electricity. We are going to use our rivers at the Emsworth Locks and Dam to power the buildings and facilities that we have here in Allegheny County," said Fitzgerald. "So we're going to be locally producing the energy, the electricity energy, that's going to run our facilities in county government."

The county says for each year the agreement is in effect, it'll offset emissions equivalent to the electrical consumption of 3,400 households. And the county says it'll offset over 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions, which is about 2.6 billion miles driven by a car.

Fitzgerald says it will create 150 to 200 construction jobs. Once the plant is up and running, he says only about two full-time jobs will need to be filled because the facility "is pretty self-sustaining and automatic."

The facility will be built at the Emsworth Main Channel Dam on the Ohio River. Rye has collaborated with the operator of the dam, the Army Corps of Engineers, about the project's development.

The project costs about $50 million and will take roughly two years to build. Construction is set to begin this year.

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