Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

Construction is underway on Yahoo's second data center in Lockport. Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy joined Yahoo officials in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility last Friday.

The $170 million expansion will bring 115 new jobs to its data and customer care center, as well as 100 construction jobs. The second center will take up more than 240,000 square feet once completed.

WBFO file photo

A recent study outlines a scenario that would see New York State’s energy infrastructure based on close to 100% all-renewable sources by year 2030.

Courtesy of RG&E

After five years of renovations to the Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) hydro-power station, the Genesee River will once again be used to power homes in upstate New York.

RG&E announced that a two-thousand-foot long power tunnel system under the river will resume producing hydroelectricity today, with the first of three power turbines being switched on.

Emma Jacobs / WRVO

This story is the second part of a series following New York's power lines to Canada.  You can read the first part here

People in the energy field often point out in conversation that "renewable" is not synonymous with "green." The mega-dam project proposed for Newfoundland & Labrador could be exhibit A.

The Lower Churchill Project, envisioned for a remote area of a far northern province on Canada's Atlantic coast, could provide large amounts of energy.

That  low carbon power could flow for more than a 100 years, and provide enough capacity to replace dirtier fuels.

But building the dam would also mean making permanent choices about the landscape around it, including flooding that would completely change the local ecosystem. Another, less tangible, toll would be paid culturally.

In this second installment of our series looking at the impact of New York importing Canadian hydroelectricity, we follow the proposed Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission line, from the New York side of the border, to Newfoundland & Labrador.

A dam, a plan, Canada

Nov 17, 2011

In the video above is Muskrat Falls.  It's a steep climb down the river valley to the first step of the falls - and it's not a path that's maintained for hikers.  Visitors have worn down the route to the rapids, but at one or two points, it's a nearly vertical climb down the rocks.

On the way down, my guide and I meet a group of telecom workers in florescent vests, on their way back up. Though they wouldn't say it, in all likelihood, they have come here to scout this out-of-the-way corner in advance of new construction.  

Later, as we're climbing out, we're passed by a group of office workers from the nearest town, Goose Bay (population: 8,000).  They've come by to take in the views, which are, admittedly, spectacular.  Not as big as you'd expect, but in the spray, the rapids still feel enormously strong.

This - the views, and the power of the falls - is what makes them attractive to conservationists and energy developers alike.