Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.00
Liaison Cora Kenfield
Submission Date March 15, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Vassar College
IN-26: Innovation C

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Alistair Hall
Sustainability Assistant
Dean of Strategic Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Small Scale Hydro project & partnership

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

In Fall 2015, Vassar signed a 20 year agreement with Gravity Renewables to establish a purchasing partnership with a historic run-of-river dam in Beacon, New York on the Wappingers Creek. The dam dates back to the 1860's and originally powered the adjacent factory which over the years produced hats, carpet, and pins.

The hydro power is provided via an agreement with Gravity Renewables that will give the college access to clean power generated at the Groveville Hydro Facility, owned and operated by leading renewable energy company Enel Green Power North America, which has 90 MW of renewable energy in the state of New York and more than 2,000 MW of installed capacity in the US and Canada. The Groveville facility produces 1.9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year—enough to provide approximately 10 percent of the College’s annual energy use. The agreement with Gravity will help significantly reduce Vassar’s greenhouse gas emissions over the 20-year operating agreement.

“Vassar College’s investment in clean, dependable hydro energy is great news for the college, the environment and the local economy,” said Ted Rose, CEO of Gravity Renewables. “This project’s impact goes beyond the climate change benefits. Vassar is supporting one of New York’s historic economic drivers—each small hydro facility employs local operators, pays taxes, and supports the local economy.”

The site provides the college with site tours for students and courses, and makes performance data available for classwork and research. The Northeast is covered with small scale dams in varying states of repair. This agreement helps pave the way for future partnerships that help restore these historic pieces of the natural/industrial landscape and strengthen community sustainability and resiliency.

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 34 MW of hydroelectric projects operating and under development across the country. For more information please visit www.gravityrenewables.com

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Air & Climate
Investment & Finance

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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