I spoke with John Fisher today from Lawson-Fisher Associates, who designed the hydroelectric generator proposed for the East Race in the 1980’s. I relayed the groundwork I’d done including contacting Congressman Joe Donnelly’s office regarding federal funding for a clean energy project such as this as well as my conversations with John Phair and Paul Phair from Holladay Properties after their East Bank Village Master Plan presentation. Mr. Fisher noted that Gary Gilot, Engineer for the city of South Bend had contacted him earlier to gather information on this project. Mr. Fisher relayed that one of the sticking points for a project such as this would be the economics, that is whether the power generated would be worth the investment.  A follow-up question might be whether the newer technology Gorlov turbines would be a better alternative for the East Race hydro plant. Since I am not an engineer, I leave that to Mr. Fisher or Mr.Gilot to address.

Another concern raised by a member of the Sierra Club was whether power lines carrying electricity from the generator would necessarily have to be above-ground. Mr. Fisher responded that given the voltage, it would likely be safest for the lines to be above-ground although this would be less aesthetically pleasing.

These are important considerations for a project such as this, however I’d like to believe they are not insurmountable.

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