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December 4, 2018 - 12:27pm

Press release:

The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced that $19 million is available to accelerate the use of anaerobic digester gas-to-electricity projects and clean energy technologies to make farm operations more energy efficient.

The use of clean energy technologies and practices represents major cost-saving opportunities for farms and supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s ambitious clean energy goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

Alicia Barton, president and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “Throughout New York’s history, farms have played a critical role in sustaining the nourishment and health of our families and communities. Governor Cuomo’s emphasis on providing funding to help bridge the gap between the agricultural sector and energy efficiency will help farms across the state reduce their energy usage while continuing to provide environmental benefits for their local communities.”

NYSERDA is offering $16 million to accelerate the anaerobic digester sector. An anaerobic digester gas-to-electricity system is a renewable energy source that can reduce costs for a facility by using waste materials as fuel to generate electricity at the same location that it is used.

Anaerobic digester systems can be used on farms, wastewater treatment plants, and as stand-alone systems to treat food wastes. They are fueled by gas from the processing of biomass feedstocks such as manure, agricultural waste, food waste, and other wastes.

Of the $16 million, nearly half is for proposals to install new anaerobic digester gas-to-electricity systems in ways that demonstrate replicable business models or strategies to expand the anaerobic digestor marketplace. These proposals must describe how their projects will improve the marketplace for anaerobic digestion technology.

The remaining funds will be used to cost-share the refurbishment of existing digesters and associated equipment to extend their useful lifespans as well as for projects that will improve the capabilities of the anaerobic digestion marketplace.

An additional $3 million is being offered for the Advancing Agriculture Energy Technologies initiative to accelerate commercially available technologies and practices to make a farm operation more energy efficient. Under this initiative, proposals for emerging technologies should be replicable and provide cost-effective energy efficiency improvements to farms in New York State.

Eligible technologies and practices include hardware, software, and operational strategies. Selected technologies and practices will be demonstrated on host site farms to increase awareness in the agricultural industry about these processes.

To increase the likelihood of new energy efficient applications, a team approach is strongly encouraged. Eligible team members could include developers, manufacturers, farm owners, universities and other academic institutions, trade or professional organizations, and utilities.

The goal is to increase the number of farms adopting emerging energy efficient technologies and to increase communication and market awareness of clean energy technologies for the agriculture sector.

NYSERDA and the Department of Agriculture and Markets collaborate on the Clean Energy for Agriculture Task Force, an assembly of farmers, universities, agriculture organizations, and others to help identify and prioritize clean energy opportunities for New York State’s agriculture sector.

In March 2017, the Task Force announced its Strategic Plan, which identified initiatives to cut energy costs and accelerate the use of clean energy by more than 35,000 farms across the state. This funding supports the Strategic Plan.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Clean energy is our future and it is critical we continue to identify new ways to harness these opportunities to power our farms. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York continues to lead the nation in environmental sustainability initiatives such as this one that are helping our farms save money and become more energy efficient.”

These offerings are just one of many steps the state has taken to support clean energy on farms including the Agriculture Energy Audit Program which offers free energy audits to identify energy efficiency measures for eligible farms, including but not limited to, dairies, orchards, greenhouses, vegetables, vineyards, grain, and poultry or egg producers.

Agriculture covers approximately 25 percent of land use in New York State. Livestock and agricultural activities at New York’s farms account for nearly 3 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Total energy use on farms accounts for approximately 9 percent of farm expenses (equal to about $450 million in annual expenses).

Greater use of clean energy practices by farms can further reduce their greenhouse gas impacts and energy costs while building on the state’s efforts to promote environmentally sustainable practices. As of the end of 2012, the most recent number available, there were 1,379 renewable energy systems on farms in New York. Of these, 23 have anaerobic digester gas systems that are operational with another seven in the process of being installed.

Today's announcement supports New York's nation-leading efforts to combat climate change as part of the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of 16 states and Puerto Rico committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pursuing aggressive climate actions at the state level in light of the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords, to create an energy grid that can be relied on during severe weather events.

The funding is made available through the state’s 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund. More information about these two solicitations is available on NYSERDA’s website.

September 19, 2018 - 12:16pm
Press release:

 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday announced that $5 million is available as part of the first rebate designed specifically for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at workplaces, office buildings, multi-family apartment buildings, and public locations such as theaters, malls, parks and retail locations.

The installation of charging stations for public use supports the Governor's ambitious clean energy goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

"New York continues to lead the nation in reducing our carbon footprint by aggressively investing in clean transportation methods," Governor Cuomo said. "By expanding public access to electric vehicle charging stations, this program will make it more affordable for New Yorkers to make the switch to an environmentally friendly electric vehicle, resulting in a cleaner, greener New York for all."

"We're expanding access to electric vehicle charging stations and investing in installation initiatives to promote electric vehicle use," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. "Communities across the state are taking advantage of funding and programs to support electric vehicles, and this funding as part of the first rebate for the installation of charging stations at office buildings, apartment buildings, and other locations continues to advance our clean energy goals and help make communities greener and healthier for future generations."

Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the new Charge Ready NY initiative provides a $4,000 rebate per charging port for public or private employers, building owners, municipalities and nonprofit organizations to install Level 2 charging stations. Depending on installation costs and the model/make of the charging station, installers can save up to 80 percent of a typical installation's total cost. Level 2 stations provide up to 25 miles of electric range to cars for each hour they are charging. Charging stations must be installed at one of the following types of locations:

  • Public parking lot: must have at least ten parking spaces and be open to the general public at least 12 hours per day for at least five days per week. Examples include municipal or privately-operated parking lots or garages, parking at retail locations, shopping malls, restaurants, parks, transit stations, schools and other destination locations.
  • Workplace: must have at least 10 parking spaces that primarily serve a minimum of 15 employees who work at or near the lot. Examples include office buildings, universities, schools, and hospitals.
  • Multi-unit housing: must have at least eight parking spaces that primarily serve a building with five or more housing units, such as apartment buildings, condominiums and co-ops.

Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York Richard Kauffman said, "Governor Cuomo is building a comprehensive electric vehicle and charging infrastructure across the state to support the electrification of the transportation sector -- the biggest emitter of carbon than any other industry. New York is rapidly becoming a leader in clean transportation technologies and deployment across the state and today, we're making another move to get us closer to our meeting our emissions reductions goals."

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Alicia Barton said,"Through initiatives like Charge Ready NY, Governor Cuomo is helping New Yorkers join the clean transportation revolution that is taking place in our state. Combined with the Drive Clean Rebate, which provides rebates for the purchase of electric vehicles, this initiative is helping reduce emissions by making cleaner modes of transportation a possibility for more and more drivers."

NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said, "The build-out of an extensive electric car charging network is key to getting more New Yorkers to drive low-emission vehicles and bringing New York State that much closer to its clean energy goals. Our new Evolve NY electric vehicle initiative focuses on addressing infrastructure barriers and our ongoing joint efforts with NYSERDA will help bring more fast chargers to qualifying businesses and nonprofits through our workplace charging programs across the state."

Charge Ready NY rebates can be combined with New York State's 50 percent tax credit for installing charging stations. The tax credit is applied after therebate amount received from NYSERDA. Charge Ready NY rebates cannot be combined with other New York State charging station rebate programs offered by NYSERDA, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York Power Authority, or other state entities.

The transportation sector is one of the largest producers of energy related greenhouse gas emissions in New York State. As a result, the state has multiple initiatives and programs designed to reduce these emissions and support the expansion of electric vehicles. For example,  the Drive Clean Rebate initiative provides New York residents with rebates of up to $2,000 for the purchase of a new or leased electric car. Since its launch, more than 9,000 New York residents have received rebates totaling more than $12 million.

This new initiative supports the Governor's Charge NY 2.0 initiative, which aims to have at least 10,000 charging stations across New York by the end of 2021, so clean cars can travel across the State with the opportunity to recharge along the way. The initiative also builds on the Governor's Charge NY initiative, which was launched in 2013 and has a goal of having 30,000 to 40,000 electric cars on the road by the end of 2018.

To complement Charge Ready NY, which enables public and private organizations to apply directly for rebates, the Governor recently announced a $250 million commitment by the New York Power Authority to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and expand electric vehicle fast charging stations along key transportation corridors and in New York City airports.

Entities interested in installing a charging station at their location can visit NYSERDA's website at www.nyserda.ny.gov for more information.

Reforming the Energy Vision

Reforming the Energy Vision is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and requiring 50 percent of the state's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030.

Already, REV has driven growth of more than 1,000 percent in the statewide solar market, improved energy affordability for 1.65 million low-income customers, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050.

To learn more about REV, including the Governor's $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, visit rev.ny.gov

September 12, 2018 - 3:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in clean energy, town of batavia, Village of Bergen, news.

Press release:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced more than 200 communities across the state have earned the Clean Energy Community designation, completing more than 1,250 total high-impact clean energy actions. Two of them are in Genesee County: The Town of Batavia; and the Village of Bergen.

The designation recognizes community leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy, all supporting the state's clean energy goals.

In the Finger Lakes Region, which includes the Town of Batavia and Village of Bergen, a total of 56 communities are participating in the Clean Energy Community designation efforts; a total of 139 Clean Energy actions have been completed to date; and a total of 22 communities have earned the designation so far.

The Clean Energy Community initiative advances the Governor's Reforming the Energy Vision strategy by demonstrating the importance of communities in helping New York achieve the state's goal to supply 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

"New York is a national leader in combating climate change, and this significant milestone demonstrates that communities in every corner of this great state are committed to our efforts to create a more sustainable future," Governor Cuomo said. "These 200 communities serve as a model for cities and towns across this state and this nation to reduce energy use and preserve our environment for generations to come."

Announced by Governor Cuomo in August 2016, the $16 million Clean Energy Communities initiative supports local governments across the state by providing grants to eligible municipalities to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities.

"Communities across the state are undergoing projects to help cut costs and support clean energy," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "More than 200 communities in New York have earned the Clean Energy Community designation, further advancing our aggressive clean energy goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"New York is leading in our efforts to combat climate change, and municipalities statewide are helping to make sure our environment is clean and safe now and for future generations."'

Overall, the 1,255 high-impact clean energy action items were completed by communities representing more than 86 percent of the state's population in 60 counties and all 10 Economic Development Council regions. View a map showing Clean Energy Communities, actions completed and communities engaged in the Clean Energy Communities initiative.

More than 450 communities are participating in the Clean Energy Communities initiative and have completed at least one high-impact action.

The Clean Energy Communities initiative was recently honored as a recipient of the Clean Energy States Alliance 2018 State Leadership in Clean Energy Award. Clean Energy Communities was one of six programs nationwide to win the 2018 award for its outstanding accomplishments with public benefits and results, cost effectiveness, leadership and innovation, and replicability.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Segos said, "New York recognizes and supports community efforts to help achieve Governor Cuomo's ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals. I applaud the achievements of the designated Clean Energy Communities across the state and hope that others are inspired by their outstanding example."

Richard Kauffman, chair of Energy and Finance for New York State said, "Congratulations to all the Clean Energy Communities for taking significant actions to reduce their carbon footprint and cut costs. Communities continue to play an important role in supporting Governor Cuomo's Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to advance and build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system to combat climate change."

Alicia Barton, president and CEO, NYSERDA, said, "I congratulate the Clean Energy Communities across the state that are realizing the opportunities to reduce their energy usage and costs while providing a cleaner environment for their residents. Governor Cuomo has made it a priority to ensure local communities have access to resources and technical assistance to assist them in their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint."

Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee Chair Joseph Griffo said, "There are now 200 communities throughout New York State that have received a Clean Energy Community designation, which is given to communities who have shown leadership in their efforts to reduce energy use. I would like to congratulate all the Clean Energy communities across the state for serving as an example of sustainable energy practice for all New Yorkers."

Assembly Energy Chairman Michael Cusick said, "Encouraging communities to use clean energy alternatives is an important step toward reaching our State's energy goals. By investing in green energy products, we are creating a more sustainable future for the next generation of New Yorkers to building a cleaner, more resilient New York for all. I'm encouraged by these results and look forward to seeing more communities implement clean energy practices."

Cities, counties, towns and villages that complete at least four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions are designated as Clean Energy Communities and are eligible to apply for funding of up to $250,000 to finance additional clean energy projects. Areas with fewer than 40,000 residents are eligible to apply for up to $100,000 in funding. NYSERDA is accepting applications for funding on a rolling basis through Sept. 30, 2019 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Grant funds are being provided as part of the Clean Energy Fund and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

The 10 High Impact Actions local governments can to take to earn a Clean Energy Community designation and qualify to apply for grant funding include:

  • Benchmarking energy use at municipal and large privately owned buildings;
  • Performing energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to municipal buildings;
  • Replacing street lights with energy-efficient LED lighting;
  • Streamlining local approval processes for solar projects through adoption of the NYS Unified Solar Permit;
  • Undertaking a community-based Solarize campaign to reduce solar project costs through joint purchasing;
  • Providing energy code enforcement training to code officers;
  • Earning Climate Smart Communities Certification by reducing the community's impact on the environment;
  • Passing a local law to allow aggregation of residents to gain greater choice and control over energy use as a group (called Community Choice Aggregation);
  • Installing electric vehicle charging stations and using alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric cars, for municipal business; and
  • Establishing an Energize NY Finance Program that enables long-term, affordable Property Assessed Clean Energy financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at commercial buildings and not-for-profits.

Clean Energy community coordinators are also available at no charge to help communities develop and prioritize clean energy goals; access easy-to-use resources, such as guidance documents and case studies; and take advantage of available funding and technical assistance opportunities.

Local government officials or employees can find contact information for their respective coordinator here for assistance in completing the actions.

For more information on Clean Energy Communities visit www.nyserda.ny.gov/cec.

September 4, 2018 - 3:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in clean energy, education, business, news.

Press release:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $15 million is available to fund two initiatives that will promote clean energy workforce development and training programs on SUNY campuses.

Nearly $6 million was awarded to SUNY campuses to train more workers in the clean energy sector. In addition, a request for proposals was made available to all SUNY campuses for grants totaling $9 million to provide apprenticeships, internships, and educational programs and support through industry partnerships across the state.

These initiatives are part of Climate Jobs NY, a component of Clean Climate Careers initiative.
 
"As the federal government moves further away from responsible energy policy and clean energy production, New York is committed to fighting climate change and protecting our environment," Governor Cuomo said. "We will continue to take bold action to promote clean energy across the state and support job growth in cutting-edge, renewable industries."
 
"Funding for clean energy and workforce development programs at SUNY campuses across the state will help to promote environmental protection," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who delivered today's announcement. "Unlike the federal government, New York is advancing ambitious clean energy goals to address the important issue of climate change. These training programs will continue to support the industry and prepare individuals for jobs of the future."
 
As part of the $9 million RFP for additional grants, the SUNY university system will explore opportunities for partnerships with state and local agencies, including the Department of Labor, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Empire State Development, and Industrial Development Agencies. These partnerships will aim to meet existing and emerging critical workforce needs of New York's clean energy industry, drive regional economic development, and provide hands-on learning to students.
 
Up to $1 million of the RFP is allocated specifically for Community College Regional Council awards to develop events and workshops that will facilitate partnerships between clean energy industry players and SUNY community colleges in the region, share best practices amongst community colleges on curricula materials and tools to accelerate the pace of clean energy workforce development, and plan regional strategies to promote a culture of environmental sustainability.
  
SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson said, "The alarms have sounded again and again on the consequences of climate change, overdependence on fossil fuels, and increased energy use and costs. SUNY is proud to provide high-quality, hands-on, and the most up-to-date clean energy education and training to our students, building a diverse, preeminent talent pipeline for today and tomorrow's clean energy industry in New York State. We are proud to be a part of the governor's long-term energy solution."
 
Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "The lack of clean energy leadership at the federal level could threaten opportunities for New Yorkers, so I commend Governor Cuomo's commitment to ensuring that workforce development in green industries is a priority. The Department of Labor stands ready to support this innovative initiative that will benefit workers and businesses alike."
 
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Workforce training and development programs are crucial to the economic growth and sustainability of New York State. These funds will ensure that New York is generating trained employees for a growing industry, while furthering the Governor's commitment to clean energy."
 
Richard Kauffman, Chair of Energy and Finance for New York State said, "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York continues to make significant investments in projects and initiatives that reduce the state's carbon footprint, ensure strong employment growth, and support our growing clean energy economy. Investing in workforce development and training programs on SUNY campuses will help prepare our next generation of clean energy workers to meet the workforce demands of an expanding and innovative job market."
 
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, "As New York continues to lead the nation in its commitment to renewable energy and its fight against climate change, we need to work collaboratively with colleges and universities, as well as the business community, to best prepare students and workers for growing job opportunities in the clean energy sector. Today's announcement is another example of Governor Cuomo putting the well-being of all New Yorkers first by investing in strategic initiatives that support the state's ambitious clean energy goals." 
  
Frederick E. Kowal, Ph.D., president of United University Professions, said, "We applaud the governor for embracing the crucial role of education and training in developing and expanding a clean energy workforce in New York state. UUP stands with the governor and SUNY in making New York a green energy leader, in the U.S. and worldwide."
 
Campus proposals awarded today were reviewed by a committee with representation from SUNY, NYSERDA, and the Department of Labor. The awarded proposals include the following:
 
Binghamton University will establish a Clean Energy Undergraduate Research Program within its Freshman Research Immersion program. The new clean energy program will provide a summer component, including research fellowships for under-represented minority students and internships with clean energy companies.
 
Buffalo State College will develop clean energy certificate programs in partnership with the New York Power Authority. The certificates will also earn students credits toward an associate or bachelor's degree.
 
University at Buffalo will develop a Western New York Clean Energy Workforce Development program to include a certification and micro-credentialing, which may take the form of digital badges or other micro-awards—to both meet business and industry expectations and motivate and prepare well-rounded students with highly marketable skills.
 
SUNY Canton will enhance its Solar Ready Vets program on site at Fort Drum. The training provides a micro-credential program in renewable energy specifically for veterans transitioning to civilian life.
 
Erie Community College will enhance its non-credit continuing education units for architects and engineers, as well as building and code inspectors, by including electrical/photovoltaic solar updates for curricula design.
 
Farmingdale State College will develop certificate and fast track training programs within its Renewable Energy and Sustainability Center to meet emerging needs of the clean energy industry. The Renewable Energy and Sustainability Center will partner with local industry to identify short- and long-term needs.
 
SUNY Maritime will receive funding for two programs. The first, through its Off-Shore Energy Center, will develop a wind operations technician training program, as well as dynamic positioning training and certification courses for off-shore vessel operators. The second will develop a certification in partnership with the liquid natural gas industry. Coursework from the program will also be incorporated into licensing programs for licensed mariners.
 
Nassau Community College will develop new curriculum to include Energy Industry Fundamentals certificates.
 
SUNY Oswego will develop and enhance the campus's energy laboratories to support the curriculum of multiple departments. The campus will also expand research and applied learning opportunities and strengthen collaboration and student transfer between SUNY Oswego and Onondaga Community College.
 
SUNY Polytechnic Institute will partner with SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and SUNY Oneonta to offer experiential learning opportunities for students to apply green building principles by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certifying SUNY campus buildings. LEED Accredited Professionals will engage undergraduate students in the LEED Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance certification process and the LEED for Building Design and Construction via experiential learning projects tied to new courses.

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