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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.51
Liaison Jennifer Andrews
Submission Date July 27, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of New Hampshire
IN-25: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Matt O'Keefe
Campus Energy Manageer
Energy Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Micro Hydro Partnerhship

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

While cogen provides the majority of UNH’s power needs, about 10 percent of its electricity every year is purchased from an off-campus supplier. Traditionally this was our local utility, but when net metering policies were passed in NH, the campus Energy Office began talks with local micro-hydro sites about entering into a partnership. Across NH and New England thousands of dams are already in existence on many rivers, but most are not actually operational. That’s because producing power from these dams has not traditionally been cost effective for operators; the rates at which they can sell power to the local utility do not cover their cost of operations.

Within the past year UNH has partnered with three small hydropower facilities — Steels Pond Hydro in Antrim, Ampersand Energy Partners in Groveton and Fiske Hydro in Hinsdale— in an arrangement whereby the dam operators get a higher level of remuneration than they would receive form the regional utility, allowing their operations to run “in the black” and even allowing them to begin to bring more small defunct dams across the state back online.

Meanwhile, UNH is able to pay less per kWh than it had been paying to the regional utility, shaving an estimated $200,000 per year from the university’s $1 million imported electricity bill.

UNH does not claim this as a renewable power purchase, because part of what allows the arrangement to “pencil out” for the dam operators is the ability to sell the associated RECs. However, through this partnership UNH has the satisfaction of knowing that it is getting power from a clean local renewable source, while supporting local entrepreneurs. Even better, the project is also supporting research to improve the technology at these micro-hydro sites, which has the potential to have a broad impact for the region as a whole.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Energy
Water
Investment & Finance

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.