Gravity Renewables will provide 10 million kWh per year in small hydroelectric power through a partnership with the Municipal Gas and Electric Alliance (MEGA), the Colorado-based energy developer and operator announced earlier this month.
MEGA, a not-for-profit program for energy supplies and services, caters to more than 260 government and public agencies in New York. The group’s renewable program is facilitated by EnergyNext Inc. and uses a public bidding process to identify the lowest-cost providers.
The partnership is a multi-year collaboration in which Gravity will serve as the preferred provider of energy from small hydropower sites to MEGA participants, municipalities and public agencies around New York.
“New York is fortunate to have an abundance of these small hydroelectric facilities, appropriately sized and located for this program,” MEGA president and CEO Ron Feldstein said. “These agreements provide our participants with long-term, fixed-price, low-cost energy while ensuring these local, historic hydro facilities will be producing renewable energy, creating jobs and paying local taxes for decades to come.”
The agreements are among the first in the country to make use of remote net metering (also called virtual net metering), Gravity said, which allows for kWh generated by a renewable source at one location to be credited toward the kWh consumption at another location. The system protects customers from future price spikes and rate increases by locking in energy at a fixed rate.
“MEGA is a fantastic partner,” Gravity Renewables CEO Ted Rose said. “We’re proud to be the first hydropower provider to serve its members and look forward to continued success over the coming years.”
The company said New York’s net metering policy allows consumers to sign 20-year agreements for power generated at small hydro facilities — each of which can bring at least US$100,000 per year in local benefits in the form of property tax, jobs and local spending.
Gravity Renewables announced in October that it had partnered with New York’s Skidmore College in an agreement that also utilizes the state’s remote net metering policy via the 850-KW Chittenden Falls plant.
The company also announced that it had completed the acquisition of Vermont’s 46-KW Comtu Falls plant from the Comtu Falls Corp. in September.
Located near Springfield along the Black River, the acquisition marks Gravity Renewables’ first foray into Vermont.
HydroWorld.com reported this past August that Gravity Renewables had secured funding needed to advance the 10.26-MW Marseilles project in Illinois. The Colorado-based company said it had closed a second round of financing to be used for the acquisition and refurbishment of small hydro project across the United States earlier in the year.
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