New York State awards $1M each to three colleges for energy conservation projects

Published on October 24, 2018 by Dave Kovaleski

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New York State awarded nearly $1 million each to three colleges to develop plans for local clean energy projects on campus and in their communities.

The University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Suffolk County Community College were the winners of the state’s Energy to Lead Competition. Applicants were required to demonstrate innovation in either project design, business model, partnerships, and/or curriculum integration.

“Through the ‘Energy to Lead’ competition, New York is fostering clean energy innovation to help fight climate change and protect our environment,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “I commend the students and faculty for their steadfast commitment to improving their campus and community, helping to create a cleaner, greener New York for all.”

Schools and universities were also required to describe the project’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions. The winning projects are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,125 metric tons over the next five years.

“The Energy to Lead Competition provides colleges and universities with the funding needed to develop innovative clean energy projects in their communities,” Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “We’re incentivizing clean energy innovation to create more jobs and opportunities throughout the state to ensure a cleaner environment and stronger economy for future generations.”

The Energy to Lead Competition was introduced in 2015. It is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and is open to two- or four-year public or private colleges or universities.

“I’m thrilled to see the next generation of clean energy leaders at our state colleges and universities demonstrating a real commitment to finding solutions to our energy challenges. Under Governor Cuomo, New York has made it a priority to scale up New York’s clean energy economy and these projects will help drive progress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make our communities more sustainable as we protect our environment from the impacts of climate change,” Richard Kauffman, chair of energy and finance for New York State, said.

The University of Rochester won for its project that involves the installation of a modular, combination solar PV and energy storage system that will feed into an existing university microgrid. It is expected to result in the avoidance of 91 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

RIT won for its plan to create a platform that integrates multiple data sources to enable the existing building automation system to manage operation schedules, adjust ventilation rates in classrooms, and respond to peak demand days. The project is expected to result in the avoidance of 108 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

Suffolk County Community College’s winning proposals involves the implementation of net-zero energy components during construction of its Renewable Energy & Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Center. The design of the project will focus on reducing building thermal loads. The project will result in the avoidance of 227 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.