Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the launch of the third round of the Energy to Lead competition with $5 million available for New York colleges and universities across the state to aggressively lower their carbon footprint, reduce energy use and improve resiliency both on campus and within the surrounding community. Today's announcement supports Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal, the most aggressive climate and clean energy program in the nation, in addition to the State's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050.
"New York is a leader in the fight against climate change, and through initiatives like Energy to Lead, we are empowering our colleges and universities to establish best-in-class energy efficient clean energy policies for others to follow," Governor Cuomo said. "Through public private partnerships, we are driving the clean energy solutions needed to safeguard our environment, campuses and communities for future generations."
"The Energy to Lead Competition provides colleges and universities with funding to develop innovative clean energy projects in their communities," says Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "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. This new round of the competition will continue to advance our renewable energy goals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help combat climate change."
Energy to Lead 2020, the third round of the Energy to Lead competition, offers awards ranging from $500,000 to $1.5 million. The competition is open to two- or four-year public or private colleges or universities that are REV Campus Challenge members and is administered through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Proposals will be accepted through February 20, 2020.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority CEO and President Alicia Barton said, "To achieve Governor Cuomo's nation-leading goals, New York continues to encourage and support thought leaders from all sectors seeking to have a meaningful impact on our fight against climate change. Under Energy to Lead 2020, colleges, universities and students will play a critical role in driving down harmful emissions across the state while advancing replicable solutions for building more sustainable campuses and communities."
The competition seeks proposals related to a campus and/or community that demonstrate cost-effective energy saving projects that will have a wide and lasting impact, engage students in the process and establish best practices that can be shared and replicated with other campuses. This year, projects within constrained gas areas and projects that reduce dependence on natural gas will be awarded additional points during proposal evaluation. The first two rounds of the competition awarded a total of approximately $6 million to six higher education institutions in New York State.
Ongoing projects awarded under previous rounds of Energy to Lead include:
- Bard College's "Micro Hydro for Macro Impact" project to use local dams to develop micro-hydropower.
- The University at Buffalo's "Localizing Buffalo's Renewable Energy Future" project, which will install 100 megawatts (MW) of clean solar power throughout the city.
- Broome Community College's "Geothermal Learning Laboratory" to install a closed loop geothermal system that uses the heat energy stored in the earth.
- Rochester Institute of Technology's "Energy Conservation through Dynamic Airflow and Peak-Demand Analytics" that will create an open-source platform that enables an existing building's automation system to dynamically conserve energy.
- Suffolk County Community College's "Renewable Energy and STEM Center" will implement net zero energy components during construction of its Renewable Energy and STEM Center.
- University of Rochester's "Toward Net Zero: A Scalable Solar Generation and Energy Storage Solution" includes installation of a modular, combination solar power and energy storage system that feeds the existing university microgrid.
The REV Campus Challenge launched in 2015 with the goal of engaging the broad academic potential of New York State's colleges and universities. Since its launch, the REV Campus Challenge has recognized many institutions across the state for clean energy achievements and engaged dozens more towards transitioning its campuses and communities into a greener, more energy-efficient facilities. All higher education institutions in New York State are eligible to join the REV Campus Challenge. For more information on how to become a REV Campus Challenge member, visit NYSERDA's Web site.