Infrastructure investment firm Climate Adaptive Infrastructure, LLC (CAI) is to fund the construction of 22 hydroelectric projects at existing non-powered dams in the Eastern United States, alongside hydropower developer Rye Development.

There are over 80,000 existing non-powered dams in the United States. Rye Development adds new energy generating capabilities to existing dams, modernizing these untapped resources to generate clean, predictable, renewable energy, powering communities, and creating jobs. 

Rye Development’s current portfolio will add hydroelectric turbines to 22 existing non-powered dams in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, the majority of which are owned and operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

“We are pleased to partner with Paul Jacob and the strong management team at Rye Development as they install hydroelectric turbines at existing, non-powered dams across the Eastern United States,” said Bill Green, Founder and Managing Partner of Climate Adaptive Infrastructure. “The Rye Hydro investment is a perfect fit with CAI’s mission to fund large-scale, low-carbon infrastructure projects that withstand the policy risks and economic pressures of the global climate crisis.”

“CAI is an ideal partner as they bring substantial industry expertise and have unparalleled access to every corner of the low-carbon infrastructure investment and policy ecosystem,” said Paul Jacob, CEO of Rye Development. “We look forward to working closely with the CAI team as we develop Rye Hydro to simultaneously strengthen the U.S. power grid, reduce carbon emissions, and address the climate crisis.”

In October 2020, Rye Development signed the Joint Statement of Collaboration on U.S. Hydropower between the US hydropower industry and environmental community – an agreement led by Stanford University and the Energy Futures Initiative – outlining how the US needs to address climate change by advancing both the renewable energy and storage benefits of hydropower and the environmental and economic benefits of healthy rivers.

Dan Reicher, a CAI Partner, who also led the negotiation of the Joint Statement, said, “Through its partnership with Rye Development, CAI is seizing critical and timely opportunities that will increase U.S. low-carbon electricity generation, help integrate variable solar and wind into the grid, and create jobs – all without building a single new dam.”