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Hydroelectric consultant to meet with city officials about Marble Street plant

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WATERTOWN — City officials have received a consultant’s long-awaited report on what the city should do to market its hydroelectric plant.

Consultant John “Skip” Trimble, managing director of AMBER Energy U.S. Inc., based in Maryland, has finished his report to determine how the city could market its 95-year-old Municipal Power Plant on Marble Street.

Mr. Trimble will meet with the City Council, city officials and with members of Watertown’s hydroelectric task force on Monday night to discuss his findings.

They’ve been waiting since February to receive the report. Mr. Trimble provided a “final” report earlier this week to City Manager Kenneth A. Mix, who then distributed it to council members.

Former Mayor Joseph M. Butler Jr., who is heading the task force, plans to read the report this weekend.

The study includes technical information about what kinds of things can be done to the plant to reach its potential.

For more than a year, the task force has been meeting to talk about preparing for 2029, when a lucrative agreement with National Grid ends and the city could lose as much as $6 million a year.

The city needs to find ways to make money with the hydro plant, Mr. Butler said. While the city will never receive the kind of revenues it does from National Grid, the state is a strong proponent of renewable energy, he said.

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