Williams, Amherst, Smith, Hampshire (and sometimes UMass Amherst) are working on several joint projects – we’re hoping to amplify our impact, and we help keep each other sane and on track.
One project we’re calling the Community Climate Fund. (Read more about it here.)
The other is related to renewable energy purchasing. Williams is actively investigating whether it’s possible to develop and own one or more large scale renewable electricity projects in the Berkshires – think a small wind farm or large solar farm. The idea of a local project is appealing on many levels, but there are a lot of challenges to overcome. Because of that, we’re hedging our bets by looking in to purchasing renewable energy from projects slightly further afield, and for that, we’re working collaboratively with our peers. Our hope is that by working together, we can increase the size of the project we help create through our purchase (and hopefully get a slightly better price through economies of scale). We’re still in the process of looking for options – we released an “RFP” (Request for Proposals) that invited renewable energy developers to propose their projects to us, and we’re working to analyze those proposals.
– Amy Johns, Director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives
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