Thursday, January 7, 2021

Local power: Paul Smith’s electricity now 100% from nearby sources

Azure Mountain Power in St Regis FallsPaul Smith’s College electricity accounts are now 100%  sourced from local hydroelectric power stations, effectively transitioning over 40% of the colleges energy needs to renewable sources. That’s according to a recent news release from Northern Power and Lights (NP&L) and the college.

NP&L began supplying power to Paul Smith’s College in March after the college subscribed to electricity from the Azure Mountain Power Facility in St. Regis Falls. An addition of electricity from the Sissonville hydro station on the Raquette River allowed them to move to all-locally generated power.

“We are thrilled to expand our service to Paul Smith’s,” said NP&L founder Emmett Smith. “The College was an early subscriber to our first project, Azure Mountain Power, and that was a big help to us getting started. But we did not have enough power available to serve the whole campus until we brought Sissonville online.”

“Paul Smith’s College is committed to supporting local clean energy while reducing its greenhouse gas emissions,” said Paul Smith’s College Sustainability Coordinator Kate Glenn. “Supporting local businesses and preserving existing renewable energy sources in the region, like the historic Sissonville Hydro station, will help build a more resilient electric grid and local economy. Rural areas face unique economic struggles, and renewable energy generation is one of the ways we can continue to develop our region’s economy sustainably.”

This recent purchase of hydro power for all its electricity, 40% of the college’s energy needs are now provided by a renewable, carbon-neutral sources. Under Glenn’s leadership, Paul Smith’s has strengthened their commitment to local renewable energy sources in recent years, including the purchase of one of the North Country’s first wood pellet boilers in 2017, and 10 electric vehicle charging stations on the main campus and the Visitor Interpretive Center VIC in 2020.

Azure Mountain Power in St Regis Falls by Samuel H Bailey/Almanack file photo

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

3 Responses

  1. Vanessa says:

    Bravo, that’s really great 🙂

  2. Peter says:

    Does Paul Smiths have a dedicated transmission line coming from the hydro stations? All hydro stations have to be connected to the grid to operate properly. I am not sure how Paul Smiths knows it is getting all hydro power. I am the first customer next to a hydroelectric station and the station can not operate when the grid goes down.

    • gabe susice says:

      you are 100% right, the power plant on the st.regis falls does not have a dedicated line to paul smiths college.that power plants turbine was outdated when put in.

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