Colorado-based Gravity Renewables and Binghamton, N.Y. Mayor Rich David have reached an agreement to explore feasibility and designs for adding a 2 MW hydropower facility at Rockbottom Dam on the Susquehanna River.
The electricity would be utilized by the City of Binghamton, and initial estimates reflect roughly $8 million in energy savings over 20 years.
The Rockbottom Dam was originally built in 1828 to power a gristmill. Binghamton purchased it in 1931 to help maintain consistent river levels so the City’s water treatment facility could draw water.
“We are pleased to partner with Binghamton as the City takes a leadership role in building a smart energy future by utilizing one of upstate New York’s greatest natural resources — water,” said Ted Rose, CEO of Gravity Renewables. “New York is rich in sustainable small hydropower facilities, and the Rockbottom Dam seems to hold great potential.”
The Rockbottom Dam hydroelectric project is the latest green energy initiative from the David Administration. In 2015, the City began converting all 7,000 streetlights to LED technology. In 15 years, the $4 million project is projected to save $6.2 million in electricity and maintenance costs.
That same year, Mayor David pushed to ease restrictions and promote installation of electric vehicle charging stations through changes to the City’s zoning code. Those changes, adopted by City Council, were awarded $5,000 from NYSERDA’s Cleaner, Greener Communities Program for adopting streamlined permitting for electric vehicle charging stations.