Hydroelectric engineers find potential in centuries-old mine

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  • In this Dec. 8, 2016 photo, Steve Burke and Jim Besha of Albany Engineering Corp. stand at the site of an abandoned iron mine in the Adirondacks, in Mineville, N.Y., where they're seeking a federal permit to build an underground hydroelectric pumped storage project. The hills behind them are "tailings" leftover from crushing ore to extract iron from the mine that closed in 1971. (AP Photo/Mary Esch)

    In this Dec. 8, 2016 photo, Steve Burke and Jim Besha of Albany Engineering Corp. stand at the site of an abandoned iron mine in the Adirondacks, in Mineville, N.Y., where they're seeking a federal permit to build an underground hydroelectric pumped ... storage project. The hills behind them are "tailings" leftover from crushing ore to extract iron from the mine that closed in 1971. (AP Photo/Mary Esch) (The Associated Press)

  • In this Dec. 8, 2016 photo, Jim Besha, head of Albany Engineering Corp., stands with his application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an underground hydroelectric pumped storage project in an abandoned iron mine in the Adirondacks, in Mineville, N.Y. The plan is to circulate some of the millions of gallons of groundwater that have flooded the mine shafts over the years to power an array of about 100 hydroelectric turbines a half-mile underground. (AP Photo/Mary Esch)

    In this Dec. 8, 2016 photo, Jim Besha, head of Albany Engineering Corp., stands with his application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an underground hydroelectric pumped storage project in an abandoned iron mine in the Adirondacks, in ... Mineville, N.Y. The plan is to circulate some of the millions of gallons of groundwater that have flooded the mine shafts over the years to power an array of about 100 hydroelectric turbines a half-mile underground. (AP Photo/Mary Esch) (The Associated Press)

A group of engineers specializing in hydroelectric projects across the country is hoping to turn an abandoned iron mine in New York's Adirondacks into an energy storehouse.

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Albany Engineering CEO Jim Besha (BEE-shuh) says the plan is to circulate groundwater that has flooded the empty mine shafts over the years to power an array of hydroelectric turbines.

The $260 million Mineville Pumped Storage Project is undergoing federal review. It could become one of a new wave of such projects tied to the growing market for renewable energy.

The Mineville project would mark a 21st century re-use of a mine that famously contributed iron for the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War on nearby Lake Champlain, and was mined for the last time in 1971.