Led by Scully '94, Students Propose Local Hydropower Projects
Hydropower developer Bill Scully ’94 is working with Bennington students on two new power generation projects in the village of North Bennington.
The initiative, which proposes to create hydropower facilities at existing dams at Lake Paran and downstream on Paran Creek, grew from a Bennington course taught last year by Scully and Susan Sgorbati, director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Action (CAPA).
The course, originally inspired by the discovery of PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) contamination in wells surrounding the former ChemFab Corp. factory in North Bennington, evolved into the Paran Creek Watershed Project—in which several student task forces conudcted a feasibility study for hydro facilities at the two sites.
According to the watershed project's statement of purpose, its goal "is to support the village's long-term stewardship of renewable water resources, clean contaminants to improve the aquatic and riverine habitat, establish North Bennington as a model for energy independence and form a sustainable, long term watershed management plan by revitalizing existing infrastructure."
North Bennington officials have approved applications to FERC for preliminary permits, which would grant the permit-holder priority to file federal hydro facility license applications, the Bennington Banner reports.