For more than 2,000 years, humans have captured the power of moving water to produce energy. Hydropower facilities harness the natural energy of flowing and falling water to generate electricity.
The West Branch of the Farmington River is the site of the MDC operated Goodwin hydroelectric power facility. It provides a significant source of clean, renewable energy while maintaining regulated and obligated downstream flows to protect the Farmington River’s important fish, wildlife and recreational resources. MDC’s Goodwin Hydroelectric Facility is located at the Goodwin Dam, a 135-foot high structure that holds back the West Branch Reservoir.
This plant is equipped with two Francis style turbine/generators, each capable of producing 1,695 kilowatts (KW). These are located in a conventional powerhouse on the downstream side of the dam.
The water is delivered through a 400-foot long penstock, which flows to the turbines and starts the electrical generation process. The water used to create that electricity is then returned to the river through the tailrace channel. The Goodwin Facility generates 13,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity in a typical year, enough to serve 2,000 homes.
The facility is regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC project licensing provides oversight of hydroelectric facility construction, operation, safety and environmental monitoring.