A new initiative is bringing Glens Falls residents and businesses the option to choose clean, locally-sourced electricity, with the City of Glens Falls as lead subscriber. The Glens Falls Community Hydro Project is a collaboration between the City of Glens Falls, Boralex, and Northern Power & Light.
“The City of Glens Falls is actively seeking ways to lower its carbon footprint, and has taken an important step by becoming the anchor customer for the Warrensburg hydro facility,” said Dr. Jeffrey Flagg, Economic Development Director for the City of Glens Falls. “We are excited to partner with these local companies that focus on sustainability and community, two pillars that drive our City’s continued success.”
Northern Power & Light is taking the lead to enroll new customers for the project throughout the region. Based in Saranac Lake, Northern Power & Light specializes in clean power for National Grid customers from Adirondack hydro producers, at no additional cost.
“We think of it as farm-to-table power, an option for clean electricity that people can really trust and believe in,” said Northern Power & Light COO Ethan Smith. “Rivers have powered us here for generations… This is OUR renewable energy, and we’re proud to make it available for local residents and businesses who are looking to mitigate their climate impact, as well as keep their energy dollars local.”
Northern Power & Light co-founders Emmett and Ethan Smith are second-generation “hydro guys” and the family still owns and operates two small facilities in the Adirondacks. Northern Power & Light serves customers throughout the Adirondack-North Country region, and has previously partnered with Boralex on a community distributed generation project at Boralex’s Sissonville Hydro facility in Potsdam.
The Glens Falls Community Hydro Project sources electricity from Warrensburg Hydro, a run-of-river facility on the Schroon River, which is owned and operated by Boralex, a renewable energy developer, owner and operator with sites in Canada, Europe, and the United States. In New York State, Boralex operates six hydro facilities and has 10 solar projects currently under development.
The City of Glens Falls’ government is expected to consume about thirty percent of the project’s output to power City Hall, street lights, water treatment plant, and other municipal facilities.
Several local businesses have already enrolled as well, including the Charles R. Wood Theater, Queensbury Hotel, and Pure & Simple Foods.
Under Northern Power & Light’s model, each customer signs up for a “share” of the facility’s output based on their electricity needs. Community Distributed Generation (CDG), is distinct from traditional retail choice electricity options which are notorious for raising customers’ costs.
With CDG, the customer either has no change in cost, or a small savings. In partnership with the City of Glens Falls’ Community Development Program, low-income customers of the project can qualify for a 25% discount.
Northern Power & Light estimates they have electricity available for 300 more customers. Folks can enroll online at www.npandl.com or by calling (518) 293-4075. Tell them New York Almanack sent you.
Photo: Warrensburg Hydro Facility on the Schroon River (Photo courtesy Jordan Craig).