Canton’s two currently-inactive hydropower dams may soon provide energy to more than 1,500 homes, thanks to a bill passed Monday by the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Collinsville Renewable Energy Promotion Act (H.R. 316), introduced by Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), passed by a vote of 379 to 3, according to a news release. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill into law in the next 10 days.
The act will allow Canton to operate the upper and lower Collinsville dams, which may produce about two megawatts of power, according to the release. The dams were built to power the Collins Company, which made axes until it closed in the 1960s.
“I came to Congress to solve problems facing our communities, and I’m proud that my commonsense, straightforward proposal to help thousands of Connecticut families and businesses access clean, locally-produced energy will soon become law,” Esty said in the release.
This bill marks the first piece of legislation Esty has introduced as a congresswoman since she was elected in 2012, according to the release. It may also be the first bill to become law since Murphy has been a senator. Murphy first introduced this bill when he was a congressman.“These two dams are already a beloved and long-standing symbol of the Farmington Valley’s rich history,” Murphy said in the news release. “With today’s passage, we can make them a symbol of the Valley’s future as well — retrofitting them to provide clean energy to power thousands of Connecticut homes and businesses.”