SRC Projects Page
SRC Services Page
SRC News Page
SRC History

American Tissue Dam flood 2.jpg (19833 bytes)

American Tissue Dam Before Rehabilitation by Swift River Company

Swift River's Mission

Swift River Company (SRC) develops renewable energy resources.  As project manager, Swift River provides the specialized skills, experience and financing to build and operate hydro in New England. SRC brings all aspects of project development under one management team

Since 1983, Swift River has managed the Sebec and Collins hydro projects and 13 other hydro and biomass projects.  After 30 years, SRC sold Sebec in order to consolidate its operations in central Massachusetts.  Three energy projects developed by SRC in early years were sold to Consolidated Hydro Inc. (CHI) and ten other projects were sold to Swift River/Hafslund (see Prior Projects). However, in June 2001, Swift River purchased two operating hydro projects from the International Paper Company (IPC).  Woronoco Hydro is located on the Westfield River in Russell, MA and Turners Falls Hydro draws its Connecticut River flow from the canal at Turners Falls, MA. For this acquisition, SRC formed Swift River Hydro Operations Company (SRHOCO) after merging with D. Hobbs Contracting Inc. (DHC) to rehab these new projects and to operate and maintain all of SRC's small hydro projects. Additional capacity was then designed and installed at the Woronoco Hydro site in 2007/2008 under a renewed FERC license issued in 2002. Power from Woronoco and Turners Falls Hydro is sold as "green energy" to the Reading Municipal Light Department (RMLD) under a 15-year PPA that bundles energy, capacity and RECs with an escalating commodity price.

In September 2001, SRHOCO acquired D. Hobbs Contracting to bring experienced design and hydro rehab skills together in a single operating company to maintain a portfolio of SRC and SRHOCO projects.  SRHOCO expanded in 2004 by acquiring 2 former hydro plants that needed rehabilitation.  In June 2004, SRHOCO bought the hydro plant at the former Pepperell Paper Company on the Nashua River and formalized its ownership in the Indian River Power Supply (IRPS) project located on the Westfield River, in Russell upstream of SRC's Woronoco Hydro projectIRPS is an abandoned hydro station that formerly powered the Westfield River Paper mill for nearly a century. An award by the Mass Technology Collaborative (MTC) of a 10-year contract to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from Pepperell Hydro supported project financing with a loan to completely repower and automate the 1918 hydro facilities. Without a similar REC purchase contract for IRPS, the best that could be done would have been to put 300 kW back on line. However, Indian River also won a 10-year REC sales agreement, which it later terminated to sign a 15-year PPA with RMLD. These contracts help finance expansion to 1,450 kW and full environmental permitting of IRPS as a run of river hydro facility.

Sebec Powerhouse from dam cropped.jpg (50201 bytes)

Sebec Powerhouse in winter 2000 before it was sold in 2007

The merger of DHC with SRHOCO expanded Swift River's operations, maintenance and rehabilitation capabilities so it could manage and operate 5 hydro plants.  William K. Fay, SRHOCO's President, is a licensed hydro engineer who has inspected 60 dams for the Massachusetts Dam Safety Division and is authorized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to perform Part 12 inspections of licensed hydropower facilities.  He and Davis Hobbs have rebuilt many hydro turbines for plants located throughout New England. See SRHOCO's history. To continue this business, Bill's brother Warren, a master machinist, expanded SRHOCO's capabilities by building a machine shop to refurbish hydro equipment at the Company's headquarters in Wilbraham, Massachusetts.  Davis Hobbs is General Manager of SRHOCO.  The company maintains 5 hydro plants and has repowered projects by refurbishing/rebuilding mechanical equipment in its machine shop and by replacing generators to increase both efficiency and capacity.

When SRHOCO repowered Woronoco Hydro it rebuilt its original equipment to increase capacity and automated the plant with remote sensors under PLC control upgrading with Basler multifunction relays and transducers.  SRHOCO has the tools, equipment and shop facilities to fabricate and repair hydroelectric equipment, regardless of its age or design.

Woronoco Powerhouse Before Rehabilitation by SRHOCO



Woronoco Powerhouse In 2008 After Rehabilitation by SRHOCO

Swift River is one of a few surviving small power producers in New England.   As the large electric companies have sold their generating equipment, most of the smaller private generators have also sold their projects or gone out of business.  Swift River has purchased and licensed projects from industries that shut down their mills or from private developers who no longer wish to compete in the competitive renewable energy market.  SRC formed Swift River Trading Company (SRTC) to join NEPOOL and to compete in ISO's forward capacity market (FCM) and to manage REC sales for its own client accounts.  A trained operating staff with low overhead costs is the only way to compete against large electric utility subs that bought up most of the renewable generating capacity of New England.  Natural gas-fired turbines are the region's dominant and least cost energy technology due to the sift from imports of high-priced international oil to less expensive domestic natural gas that is flooding into New England.

New England's energy resources are being broadened.  25 years ago, imported oil (mainly Bunker 6 oil) and coal were the dominant fuels of utility companies that caused air pollution and public health problems.  Today New England's comparative advantage fuels are low cost natural gas imported from mid-west states and renewable hydro, wind, biomass (wood) and landfill gas, all local green energy resources.  New renewable energy technologies are key to stable electric prices.  However, a recent announcement that Nation Grid negotiated a 15-year PPA with the Cape Wind project at a price well above the prevailing bundled energy, capacity and REC contract price is widely criticized for killing the incentive for clean energy certificates in New England.  The 2010 Green Communities Act (GCA) solicitation for competitive bids by renewable energy projects to fill 3% of the Massachusetts distribution companies' Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) supply sources, has resulted in far more competitively priced clean energy.

Stator of Turners Falls GE Generator being rewound by Leppert-Nutmeg team

Contact Information

bulletFor information, sales and customer support, call Peter B. Clark, President
bulletTelephone:  (978) 468-3999 and FAX:  (978) 468-1210
bulletPostal address P.O. Box 149A, Hamilton, MA 01936
bulletElectronic mail: wdhobbs@swiftriverhydro.com

General Information: info@swiftriverhydro.com
Webmaster: pclark@swiftriverhydro.com


 [Projects]         [Services]         [News]         [D. Hobbs Contracting]