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Month: February 2016

NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli Addresses Clean Energy Leadership Task Force

Audits Confirm Savings from Energy Efficiency Improvements at Long Island School Districts

 

(Long Island, NY) On Friday, February 19th, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli spoke before the Clean Energy Leadership Task Force which is a project directed by the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College located at Republic Airport in Farmingdale NY. Mr. DiNapoli discussed the results of audits that his office completed of Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs) entered into by five Long Island school districts, as well as the investment strategy that has been developed for New York State’s pension fund.

 

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NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Photo Credit: NYS.

 

Under EPCs, third-party energy service companies make energy saving upgrades or changes to operations, guarantee savings on energy bills, and are paid out of those savings.

 

The audits performed by the Comptroller’s office used the energy performance in the year following the work done under the EPCs to estimate the projected net savings for the school districts.

 

“The audits found that all of the districts were realizing significant energy savings, both reducing environmental impacts and helping to hold down operating costs for taxpayers.” Mr. DiNapoli said. The report found that the projected savings for school districts range between $66,0000 and $3.3 million dollars. “My auditors made recommendations to help officials better manage energy performance contracts to ensure that they are receiving the greatest possible savings.”

 

The school districts that were the subjects of the audits were:
 

  • Island Trees Union Free School District
  • Middle Country Central School District
  • Sachem Central School District
  • Manhasset Union Free School District
  • Half Hollow Hills Central School District

 

The report on the audits is available at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/swr/2015/epc/global.htm.

 

molloy02When speaking about the State’s pension fund, Mr. DiNapoli stated that the goal was for long-term, sustainable economic growth. He argued that environment and global warming have implications for the bottom line and present risks that must be managed by prudent companies. He noted that companies with better sustainability practices perform better in the long run. Using its power as the third largest public pension fund in the U.S., New York State has been pushing corporations towards better corporate governance and long-term thinking concerning sustainability. The Comptroller’s office had developed and invested $2 billion in a new custom low-emission index of companies with low carbon footprints. In addition, the office is doubling its investment in clean energy and other green investments, for a total of $5 billion in green investments. These efforts resulted in Mr. DiNapoli being invited to participate in the historic U.N. conference on climate change held in Paris this past December, to discuss investment strategies to address global warming.

 

“My office has adopted its own best practices, in order to lead by example.” Mr. DiNapoli told the group, noting that the headquarters of the Comptroller’s office has an energy audit last year“ Our headquarters underwent an energy audit last year. “Even though that building is Energy Star certified, we were able to identify cost effective energy saving measures that when fully implemented will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 90 tons a year and reduce operating costs by approximately $36,000 a year.” He encouraged the local governments who attend the Task Force to take advantage of ‘turn key’ programs from the New York Power Authority, or EPCs that provide guaranteed savings, to reduce their own energy consumption. Mr. DiNapoli said, “School district and municipal budgets are under stress and our leaders in these institutions are challenged to find creative ways to fund crucial services.”

 

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Neal Lewis, Thomas DiNapoli. Photo Credit: NYS.

 

Neal Lewis, the executive director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, pointed out that the Task Force’s motto is ‘Leading by Example’. “This may be the first time a Comptroller has evaluated actual savings from energy efficiency through post-project performance. The results of these audits show that all local governments should be saving taxpayer dollars by adopting energy efficiency and renewable energy,” said Mr. Lewis. “By letting people know about the success of these energy improvements, government can show businesses and homeowners that clean energy really works and can save them money too.”

 

Mr. Lewis pointed out that the Sustainability Institute is currently organizing a program in which it is partnering with 5 town governments on Long Island to encourage homeowners to take advantage of NY State programs to encourage home energy efficiency improvements. The Long Island Green Homes Initiative helps Long Island homeowners take advantage of incentives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), that generate energy savings while stimulating local jobs, boosting economic development, promoting sustainability and protecting the environment. Long Island Green Homes makes the process simple by providing specially trained “Energy Navigators” who advise homeowners by phone and guide them through each step.

 

The Clean Energy Leadership Task Force is a project of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College. The Task Force which has been meeting since 2004, holds half-day conferences four times a year, where elected officials and staff of local governments gather with energy service professionals to learn and share information about the latest developments in energy efficiency and renewable energy technology and policy.

Governor Cuomo Announces Growth Of Clean Technology Companies And Creation Of 980 Jobs

$14 million Investment in Cleantech Business Incubator Initiative Supports the Development of 141 Clean Energy Companies across the State

 

(Long Island, NY) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 141 clean technology companies have been supported and primed for further growth through the Governor’s Cleantech Business Incubator initiative. The initiative has attracted more than $215 million in private capital and created 980high-quality jobs at the New York-based businesses statewide. The continued growth of New York’s emerging clean energy economy is a core component of the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system.

 

clean-technology-2“New York State is committed to supporting the development of this industry to reduce our energy consumption and create a more sustainable and resilient community,” Governor Cuomo said. “Through this initiative we are giving the best and brightest entrepreneurs an opportunity to get their startups off the ground, helping to create jobs, spur economic development, and secure a cleaner and greener future for the next generation of New Yorkers.”

 

NYSERDA has supported the incubator program with a total of $14 million, leveraging $15 in private sector investment for every one dollar invested by NYSERDA. The companies that were fostered by these incubators are poised for continued growth as the clean energy market expands in New York State and globally.

 

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO John B. Rhodes celebrated the success of the Cleantech Business Incubator initiative at an event today at the Cleantech Center, a program of CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden in Syracuse. Representatives from CenterState CEO and companies working with the Clean Tech Center also participated in a roundtable with Rhodes to discuss past successes and future needs of incubator companies, which are important to the development of New York State’s clean energy economy.

 

Due to the success of the incubator program, Rhodes announced that New York State anticipates providing additional funding later this year through a competitive solicitation to continue to drive growth and impact of cleantech business incubators.

 

New York State Chairman of Energy and Finance Richard Kauffman said, “These incubators are helping to develop a strong, healthy cleantech industry in New York State, an essential component of the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy. Under Governor Cuomo, we are leveraging ratepayer dollars in smart, innovative and more efficient ways to grow and transform our clean energy markets by supporting promising and cutting-edge companies for a cleaner and healthier environment.”

 

The incubators include the Clean Energy Business Incubator Program at Stony Brook University, ACRE at NYU Tandon School of Engineering in Brooklyn, iClean at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, the Cleantech Center at CenterState CEO’s The Tech Garden in Syracuse, Venture Creations at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Directed Energy at the University at Buffalo.

 

The incubators serve as a critical component of their region’s startup community and collectively represent the foundation of the State’s energy innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Incubators foster the viability and growth of the State’s most promising cleantech ventures by providing ready access to investors, development partners, mentors and commercialization resources – all needed to scale and grow these promising businesses. All but one of the incubators also offer physical space, where tenants can operate their businesses, access specialized tools and equipment, and interact with other entrepreneurs.

 

The companies working with the incubators are primarily those that have raised some capital from government grants and/or angel investors. These companies are typically in the process of developing prototype products and refining their business models in order to raise additional capital from investors to commercialize their products and bring them to market.

 

Of the 141 clean technology companies supported by these incubators, 44 companies have “graduated,” leaving the incubators after achieving business success. An additional 97 companies continue to participate in the incubators as of December 31, 2015, developing innovative technologies such as LED lighting systems, advanced energy storage systems and components, energy efficiency solutions, next-generation solar technologies, biofuels and transportation technologies.

 

To view the incubator companies and graduates, visit: nyserda.ny.gov/goto/incubators.

 

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO John B. Rhodes said, “The success of NYSERDA’s incubator program illustrates growth in the cleantech economy, including increased private-sector financing. Our partnerships have brought innovative products and high-tech jobs to the state, helping New York build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers under the leadership of Governor Cuomo.”

 

Examples of successful companies that have graduated from the incubators include:
 

  • Ephesus Lighting (Cleantech Center, Syracuse) hasachieved success with its LED arena and stadium lighting systems, which were used in last year’s Super Bowl XLIX and in other high-profile sports and entertainment venues. The company was recently acquired by Eaton Corp., a multinational power management company, and continues to operate in Syracuse. http://ephesuslighting.com/
  • Graphenix Development (Directed Energy, Buffalo) makes electrodes for high-performance ultracapacitors, energy storage devices that provide a quick surge of power on demand. Uses include electric and hybrid vehicles, smart grid, renewable energy integration, advanced robotics and other power applications. www.graphnx.com
  • Keen Home (ACRE, Brooklyn) has developed technology that retrofits floor, wall and ceiling air vents in a few steps, then wirelessly connects to a home network. The vents communicate with each other to regulate airflow in rooms so they are not too hot or too cold.http://www.keenhome.io/
  • Besstech (iClean, Albany) was the first student-led startup to be spun out of SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. The company is commercializing a nano-engineered anode technology to improve lithium-ion batteries giving them increased energy storage capacity, faster charging and longer lifecycle, in addition to cutting the anode manufacturing cost in half. The company has received significant technology funding from the National Science Foundation while also successfully raising private capital from investors.http://www.bess-tech.com/
  • Sweetwater Energy (Venture Creations, Rochester) produces sugars from non-food plant materials, using a patented process, to create a renewable alternative to petroleum. The sugar solution is sold to refineries and used to produce biofuels, bioplastics, and biochemicals.http://sweetwater.us/
  • WATT Fuel Cell (CEBIP, Stony Brook) develops and manufactures solid oxide fuel cell systems for industries including recreational vehicle, marine and military sectors. WATT was awarded a contract from the U.S. Army, has raised significant private capital, and will launch its beta product in 2016. http://www.wattfuelcell.com/

 

Robert Anstey, CEO of Graphenix, said, “Martin Casstevens and Directed Energy have been exceedingly helpful through the mentorship and support of the business over the last several years. Directed Energy was able to support Graphenix with critical funding for prototype development, business development and networking.”

 

Nayeem Hussain, cofounder of Keen Home, said, “ACRE provided Keen Home the support we needed during the formative stages of our company’s growth. In our early quest for product-market fit, the incubator was a conduit for mentorship, fundraising, engagement with fellow founders and press opportunities.”

 

Fernando Gómez-Baquero, co-founder and CEO of Besstech, said, “The iClean incubator at SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering has been an invaluable resource for our business. Support from iClean jump-started our business development and quickly allowed us to take advantage of an ecosystem of innovators and entrepreneurs that we still use to reach our strategic goals.”

 

Jack Baron, President and COO of Sweetwater Energy, said, “Venture Creations helped set the stage for the early success of Sweetwater. The combination of technical expertise that we found at RIT, business expertise inside Venture Creations and through extended resources such as High Tech Rochester were absolutely essential to give the company a solid foundation.”

 

Caine Finnerty, founder and CEO of WATT Fuel Cell, said, “CEBIP has proven to be a great resource to us over the years. Having that kind of support can really make a difference to a small company.”

 

About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision is New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. REV is transforming New York’s energy policy with new state-wide initiatives and regulatory reforms. REV will grow the state’s clean energy economy, support innovation, ensure grid resilience, mobilize private capital, create new jobs, and increase choice and affordability for energy consumers. REV places clean, locally produced power at the core of New York’s energy system. This protects the environment and supports the State’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent while generating 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Successful initiatives already launched as part of REV include NY-Sun, NY Green Bank, NY Prize, K-Solar, and a commitment to improve energy affordability for low-income communities. To learn more about REV, visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us@REV4NY.

Governor Cuomo Announces 900 Solar Projects Underway Through 26 Community Solarize Campaigns Across The State

“Solarize” campaigns are encouraging homes and businesses throughout the state to install solar – State will support another 31 “Solarize” campaigns set to begin this spring

 

(Long Island, NY) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 900 solar projects are underway through 26 community “Solarize” campaigns across New York State. A component of the NY-Sun program and the Governor’s comprehensive Reforming the Energy Vision strategy, the “Solarize” campaigns are geared towards locally-organized community outreach efforts aimed at getting more homes and businesses to install solar. The Governor also announced another 31 Solarize campaigns are set to begin this spring.

 

3389403_orig“New York is blazing the trail when it comes to transitioning to sustainable energy practices and building a clean energy economy,” said Governor Cuomo. “By helping communities across the state install solar technologies, we are opening the door to new opportunities that will lower household energy costs while protecting the environment years into the future.”

 

Launched by the Governor in December 2014, New York’s Solarize initiative is a collaboration between the State and local communities. Communities engaged in Solarize campaigns are able to simplify purchasing and obtain discounts for participants on solar projects. The “Solarize” initiative partners with interested residential and business communities to conduct joint purchasing agreements that help lower solar acquisition and consumer costs.

 

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided a total of $365,000 in technical and marketing support for the 2015 Solarize campaigns. These campaigns saved participants a total of approximately $1.4 million on upfront purchase costs for solar, for an average of approximately $1,590 per residential or business project. Campaigns are managed by community partnerships that include local municipalities, planning organizations, sustainability groups, state legislators and business groups.

 

The Solarize program is part of NY-Sun, Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar energy and move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. In his 2016 State of the State address, the Governor called for additional solar projects to be installed at 150,000 homes and businesses by 2020.

 

Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York State Richard Kauffman said,”Solar energy is a key component of Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase the use of renewable resources and create jobs. These Solarize campaigns are an important tool to enable communities to transition to clean and sustainable energy and serve as the gateway for others across the New York to do the same.”

 

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO John B. Rhodes said, “Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun program has led to unprecedented solar growth across the State, providing locally produced, affordable energy to residents and business. Solarize campaigns create opportunities for community members to work together to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and better protect our environment.”

 

Results by region from the first 26 Solarize campaigns as of January 2016 follow:

Community Campaigns by Region Total Projects/Kilowatts (kW)
Capital Region: (3)
Solarize Albany, Solarize Saratoga Springs, Solarize Troy
92 projects/708 kW
Central NY: (5)
Solarize CNY: Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego
192 projects/2,653 kW
Finger Lakes: (3)
Solarize the Flower City, Solar Seneca, Solarize Williamson
50 projects/332 kW
Long Island: (2)
Solarize Brookhaven, Solarize Southampton
86 projects/825 kW
Mid-Hudson: (8)
Solarize Beacon Plus, Solarize Goshen-Warwick, Solarize Kingston,
Solarize Bedford – Mt. Kisco, Solarize Cortland – Croton, Solarize
Mamaroneck – Larchmont, Solarize Ossining – Briarcliff, Solarize
Woodstock – Rosendale
305 projects/2,338 kW
North Country: (3)
Solarize Akwesasne, Solarize Canton, Solarize Tri-Lakes
78 projects/550 kW
Southern Tier: (2)
Solar Schuyler, Southern Tier Solar Works
97 projects/941 kW

 

See details by campaign here.

 

The next round of Solarize projects, beginning this spring, will be led by 12 municipalities, 18 not-for-profit organizations and a private entity working in association with a community group. Some of these new campaigns will participate in New York’s Affordable Solar program, announced by the Governor this past fall, which doubles NY-Sun incentives for households earning less than 80 percent of the area or state median income. In addition, 13 applications are for Shared Renewable campaigns, which help provide solar and other clean energy opportunities for renters and other consumers unable to have solar on their roofs.

 

See a list of communities here that are participating in the second round of Solarize campaigns.

 

From 2012 -2015, New York has seen an increase of 575 percent in the amount of solar power installed and in development, which has also generated a significant increase in the number of solar-related jobs across the State. According to a national report announced in February, New York’s solar industry is now the fourth largest in the nation and currently employs more than 8,250 workers, an increase of more than 3,000 jobs since 2013. In 2016, double-digit job growth is expected to continue with another 1,000 additional jobs created as a result of the state’s robust solar project pipeline.

 

About NY-Sun
NY-Sun is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move New York State closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. The growth of solar in the State has increased more than 300 percent from 2011 to 2014, twice the rate of U.S. solar growth overall. NY-Sun web site.

 

About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision is New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. REV is transforming New York’s energy policy with new state-wide initiatives and regulatory reforms. REV will grow the state’s clean energy economy, support innovation, ensure grid resilience, mobilize private capital, create new jobs, and increase choice and affordability for energy consumers. REV places clean, locally produced power at the very core of New York’s energy system. This protects the environment and supports the State’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% while generating 50% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Successful initiatives already launched as part of REV include NY-Sun, NY Green Bank, NY Prize, K-Solar, and a commitment to improve energy affordability for low-income communities. To learn more about REV, visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us @REV4NY.

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