Historic Small Hydro Plant Will Help College Meet 21st Century Energy Needs
Stockport, NY — Representatives from Skidmore College and Gravity Renewables and dozens of attendees gathered to mark the rededication of the historic Chittenden Falls Hydroelectric facility today. The project has reached a milestone in the refurbishment and preservation that will enable the facility to continue to produce power for decades to come—renovations that also include an on-site classroom that will serve as a learning resource for students and faculty. Previously the facility produced 2.6 million kWh annually. When work is complete, it’s expected to be able to generate as much as 4 million kWh each year.
“I would like to thank (Gravity Renewables) for their guidance through the development process which enabled us to rapidly complete this (phase of the) project,” said Mike Hall, former budget and energy expert for Skidmore College told the assembled crowd. “We look forward to a long and continued relationship in the pursuit of our energy goals.”
Other speakers included Skidmore College Trustee Chair Linda Toohey, Skidmore College Vice President Mike West, Environmental Science student Caroline Hobbs ’16, and Gravity Power Marketing Director Omay Elphick.
By providing the college with 18% of its energy needs, Chittenden allows Skidmore to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and receive predictable low-cost power over the 20-year period of the operating agreement. Chittenden Falls first started generating power in 1810 and was the subject of a 1981 John McPhee essay, “MiniHydro”, published in the New Yorker as well as news articles in the New York Times, Popular Mechanics and others.
“Chittenden Falls is producing clean, dependable energy once again and that’s great news for the college and the local economy,” said Ted Rose, CEO of Gravity Renewables. “This project’s impact goes beyond the environmental benefits. Skidmore is supporting one of upstate New York’s historic economic drivers—each small hydro facility employs local operators, pays taxes and supports the local economy.”
Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature’s strong commitment to locally produced renewable energy, as well as National Grid’s support, helped make this rededication possible. Skidmore College’s 20-year agreement for the power generated at Chittenden Falls protects Skidmore against future price spikes or rate increases by locking in reliable, predictable low-cost energy at a fixed rate.
About Skidmore College
Founded in 1903 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Skidmore is a highly selective, independent, liberal arts college with an enrollment of about 2,400 men and women. The college grants bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in nearly 50 areas, as well as the master of arts in liberal studies. Skidmore draws thousands of visitors to campus each year for a wide array of cultural and athletic events, and its students, faculty, and staff play active roles as volunteers with more than 40 nonprofit organizations in the region.
About Gravity Renewables
Gravity Renewables is a leading national owner, operator and developer of small hydroelectric power plants. Small hydropower provides predictable, reliable, affordable clean energy that’s locally produced. By making a long-term commitment to these neighborhood facilities, Gravity restores and conserves important historical sites, employs local operators and promotes educational and recreational opportunities in the communities it serves. Gravity currently has 30 MW of hydroelectric projects operating and under development in 7 states across the country. For more information please visit www.gravityrenewables.com or contact us at 303.440.3378. Follow Gravity Renewables on Twitter or Facebook.