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$3m for colleges and universities in Empire State for clean energy

Staff writer |
Student-led coalitions at Bard College, University at Buffalo and SUNY Broome Community College were awarded $1 million each to develop innovative clean energy projects in their communities.

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York State will award $1 million each to Bard College, University at Buffalo and SUNY Broome Community College as part of the “Energy to Lead Competition.”

New York State plans to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030.
The competition, first announced by the Governor in October 2015, challenged student-led coalitions from New York colleges and universities to design and develop innovative plans for campus and community-wide clean energy projects. The announcement was made at Bard College in Dutchess County.

“The ‘Energy to Lead Competition' is challenging New York’s emerging energy leaders to turn innovative ideas into cutting-edge solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy bills and improve resiliency in communities across the state,” Governor Cuomo said.

“I congratulate our winning students and faculty, and commend them for their commitment to helping to build a cleaner, greener New York.”

The "Energy to Lead Competition" is part of Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.

Through REV, New York State has set the following 2030 energy targets: generate 50 percent of electricity from renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels and reduce energy consumption in buildings by 23 percent from 2012 levels.

Collectively, the three winning college projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking 17,000 cars off the road each year.

The $3 million competition was administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and was open to student-led coalitions from two- or four-year public or private colleges or universities.

The competition challenged schools to develop ideas for innovative projects in energy efficiency, renewable energy or greenhouse gas emission reduction on campus, in the classroom and in surrounding communities.

Applicants were required to demonstrate innovation in one or more of the following areas: project design, business model, partnerships, and/or curriculum integration.

They were also asked to describe the project’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions, how they would measure success and how they would use the $1 million award to advance the project.

The University at Buffalo’s “Localizing Buffalo’s Renewable Energy Future” project will demonstrate how a college or university can partner with its community to transform the local energy ecosystem, all while providing students with valuable research and workforce training opportunities.

In partnership with the city of Buffalo and several not-for-profit and educational partners, the project’s goal is to install 100 megawatts of solar power throughout the city and college and university campuses and is expected to result in the avoidance of 82,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

SUNY Broome Community College’s “Geothermal Learning Laboratory” project will show how a geothermal system can harness the energy stored in the earth to heat and cool a campus, serve as a hands-on learning resource for college and secondary school students, and generate energy bill savings that can be reinvested in energy conservation measures.

The project is expected to result in the avoidance of 135 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is ensuring New York State reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally-recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050.