There’s a theory that the new owners of the canal system are interested in harnessing the run off and flow of water through the system to generate power.
Here are a few links to this great environmentally friendly concept.
Is the canal corporation about to get a new home?
Erie Canal celebrates bicentennial of work for commerce, hydropower production
Example of what can be done at each lock.
This shows what they can do to the lock doors if they got creative.