Creating Economic Strength

The impoundments that our hydroelectric facilities operate are some of the largest and most beautiful lakes and rivers in New England. These impoundments, which have existed for generations, not only provide renewable fuel for clean electricity generation but are also home to some of the best recreational sites in the region, driving tourism and providing a foundation for strong local economies. Entire communities have grown up around these impoundments, improving tax revenues and attracting significant investments in our host towns.


Giving back

FirstLight has a long history of giving back to the community. In addition to providing millions of dollars in property taxes each year, FirstLight has contributed more than $1 million to local community organizations over the past five years. The Housatonic River Project Fund, which provides competitive grant opportunities for projects associated with our host communities in the Housatonic River Valley has funded dozens of different projects relating to environmental stewardship, public safety, and education.


Recent Grant Awardees include:

  • Candlewood Lake Authority’s new marine patrol boat
  • Candlewood Lake Authority’s grasscarp program
  • Lake Lillinonah Authority’s new marine patrol boat
  • Housatonic Valley Association’s Still River management program
  • Development of a new park at the Bleachery Dam in New Milford
  • Oxford Fire Department rescue boat
  • Improvements to Harrybrooke Park in New Milford
  • Hazard buoys for Lake Lillinonah and Candlewood Lake
  • Rescue equipment for the Falls Village Volunteer Fire Department


In celebration of Earth Day 2022, FirstLight announced the second year of the Valley Climate Champions program to engage Franklin County high school and middle school teachers and students on the region’s growing clean energy sector and to highlight the urgency of climate change. The program includes a total of seven $1,000 grants available to high school and middle school teachers – one grant for each of the Franklin County school districts and Franklin County Technical School. An additional $2,000 will be awarded to the grant recipient with the best end product presented in the Spring of 2023. Eligible teachers can complete this online application and should submit the completed project by October 1st, 2023 to be considered.


Climate Action and Environmental Justice Grant Program

Following our mission of investing in local communities, FirstLight launched two grant programs the Climate Action Grant and Environmental Justice Grant to provide an opportunity for Franklin County communities and 501c3 non-profit organizations to join FirstLight in having a positive impact on climate change and on environmental justice. The program includes two grant applications – for work in climate action and environmental justice-related projects in Franklin County – that will be eligible for grants up to $15,000 each, totaling up to $30,000. Applications will be accepted from August 1 through November 5, 2021, and FirstLight will work with a selection committee to choose and announce grant winners in November 2021. To learn more, download our program overview, and to apply, complete this online application form before the deadline of October 8th.