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Alternative Energy for Municipalities: Exploring the Possibilities
Saturday March 18, 1 pm

The session will start with presentations by Jody Rael of SOLAQUA Power & Art and Richard Cohen of Eco-Grid who will introduce projects that feature innovative uses of alternative energy beyond powering and heating single-family homes.

Following Rael and Cohen there will be a panel of experts speaking on solar, wind, geothermal and district heating and cooling and anerobic digestion. The session will end with audience Q&A.


Solaqua Power & Art
Jody Rael is president and founder of Soalqua Power and Art, a project that will transform the former Columbia Box Board mill into an industrial arts center powered by sunlight and water. The SOLAQUA Power & Art center will showcase the innovative and artistic use of photovoltaic panels and the hydropower of the Stonykill Creek, with its operating dams and waterfalls to power the complex. Hydrogen will be generated on-site from electricity and water using an electrolyzer. Resident artists will use the hydrogen to power furnace kilns, glassblowing, foundry and blacksmith forges. Classes and workshops in the arts and renewable energy technologies will be available to schools and the public.

Solaqua is now engaged in installing solar electric systems, solar water heaters and wind turbines for residential and commercial customers. Solaqua is launching a spray soy foam insulation company with an initial project of insulating the 100,000 square feet of space at the mill and residential and commercial installations to follow.

Eco-Grid is a collaborative vision of a sustainable infrastructure system for the City of Hudson. This can create jobs and give citizens energy bills with lower long-term coasts that are not as vulnerable to shocks in the global economy. Utilizing Hudson’s climate and infrastructure, the Eco-Grid team is serving as project catalysts to investigate the feasibility of a district energy heating and cooling system based on the City of Hudson’s existing assets. The team’s strategy is to be optimistic, realistic and to carry out a vision rooted in public input and small victories.

Richard Cohen is the originator of two separate projects in the City of Hudson, the Hudson River Hotel Project and Eco-Grid (trademark pending). The Hudson River Hotel Project, Mr. Cohen’s Real-Estate hub at Warren and 4th Streets, will be Eco-Grid’s first “customer.” Interested parties are welcome to contact Eco-Grid with questions, comments or ideas for collaboration at

Panel Presentations and Discussion
David Borton, Adjunct Professor, RPI, (click here for website and bio) will moderate a panel discussion on various alternatives to fossil fuels in municipalities. The discussion will include an exploration of the possibility for municipally owned utilities to provide these alternatives.


Jeff Irish, Hudson Valley Clean Energy
Click here for bio

Marion Trieste, Trieste Associates
Click here for bio

Geothermal and District Heating and Cooling
Peter Douglas, NYSERDA
Click here for bio

Anerobic Digestion
Alexander MacFarlane, Think-21
Click here for bio

Saturday, March 18 at 1 PM
St. Mary’s Academy Gym
3rd and Allen Streets, Hudson, NY
Admission: $5
Please call to make a reservation: (518) 822-0334