Community and Collaboration

The idea is to understand and align interests.
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Owners as partners

We cannot build renewable power sources without owners who are good stewards of their property and who really want to engage the idea that their dam sites could benefit them and their communities. 

That goes for private, state, and municipal owners.

Conversely, we will not be able to develop clean energy sites if we do not understand owner’s goals--for their businesses, their state and their cities and towns.

Our efforts are to find common ground for each individual opportunity to open a conversation once the potential for a site has been evaluated.

Local, state and federal government agencies—working in partnership

From the start of a project, there are many interests, regulatory provisions and oversights for waterways in every state.  They vary widely, but in virtually every case, the responsible individuals are willing to listen to a solid proposition from NEHC. They understand the pathway through the process to build a site can be complex, but they are always willing to work toward improving the process. We work proactively with these agencies and with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to accomplish our goals, and theirs, as they manage waterway oversight.

Passion for Waterways—History, Fishing, Paddling, and Modern Work

NEHC works at sites that are often of historical significance. The waterways, dams and mills provided mechanical energy for building the country--nothing short of that. Many generated, and continue to generate, electrical power in more recent times. Others are abandoned and unused. NEHC looks at their potential for modern use on a small scale to generate clean, renewable power. But, we do so with great care. Not all dams are useful and the costs to make them “work” are often too high.  The environmental barriers can be too sensitive or the location too valued for other purpose.

The Archimedes screw generator technology is remarkably non-invasive. Their slow rotation, large chambers of water, safe design, and their run-of-river operation are compatible with fish and other wildlife safety as extensive studies have shown in the UK and in the U. S. The sites our partners have developed in the UK are on important salmon rivers, and they have become an integrated part of the river culture.

NEHC and its team members have and are always ready to communicate and develop long-term relationships with river alliances, historical associations, sportsman and their advocacy groups. As with the case of owners, we believe in aligning the interests of these groups and making the best use of natural resources.

If small-scale hydro generation is a partial solution to renewable and clean energy needs, it must also be compatible and in balance with the recreational and historical interests in today’s world.

Permitting

Understanding the benefits of our waterways and their history as we seek to generate clean, zero-emission electricity without harming habitat or fish leads us to that true alignment.

That is why NEHC only considers projects at existing dams that still serve a valued purpose. We do not re-engineer or enhance them to augment the power of the flowing water. Our goal is to ensure our projects are truly low-impact, run-of-river.

Local wisdom, experience, and vision are integral to the development of successful, beneficial projects.  Knowing that, we reach out to owners, and to communities and their leaders as partners and collaborators early in the evaluation of every proposed site. 

Our experience has been that wherever we go there are well-educated agency stewards and policy-makers; and equally, there are knowledgeable community advocates, naturalists, conservationists, researchers, and engineers.  We proactively engage with these experts in order to bring the value of their expertise to our work before we resolve to move forward on a project.

Hydropower licensing is not a simple process. Each site has its own specific complexity. It requires defined knowledge and skill in order to navigate through, but working inclusively and openly, we have had success. We have experts who know the course and who find smart and creative solutions to issues that arise. We are in the business of building associations because that is the way we will most efficiently bring renewable hydropower to the marketplace.

 

"We founded this company to restore useful work to the dam sites and waterways that built New England and the nation. We have found in our process that the nation’s builders had a remarkable understanding of the value of the resource. They knew precisely how to use it in their time. We have found a way to use the foundation they built, and in a clean, non-invasive way, renew its value."

Michael Kerr
New England Hydropower, Chief Executive Officer

"Opening a conversation about generating power on an old dam on a cherished river is always complicated—even when it is small-scale, renewable and clean. There is a great interest in what we are doing, and a wide variety of constituents. Because every project becomes part of a community, NEHC works transparently to form working relationships in those communities. We will always be willing and open to have a dialogue, especially when there is an issue to solve."

Chris Conover
New England Hydropower, Chief Marketing Officer

"We harvest rain and snow. That is, we use the natural flow of waterways, engineering each site individually to minimize our impact, and derive clean, renewable energy. Our sites are small-scale, manageable. With many of them in place, we can provide a significant source of green power.."

Roger Hutton
New England Hydropower, Co-Founder and Director of Sales

"Permitting is the name for the rigorous process we manage carefully to build projects. Is it not exclusively about the rules and regulations. It is about outcome. It is about understanding the specific natural resource and societal issues for each site, and exploring the best way to approach and respond to them. Local knowledge is often the key to success."

Carol Wasserman
New England Hydropower, Principal, Environmental and Regulatory Affairs

Environmentally sound, fish and wildlife safe

We provide the renewable energy market with a fresh, environmentally sound, fish and wildlife safe approach to small-scale hydroelectric generation.
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