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Four EV charging stations added at Batavia businesses

The city of Batavia last week marked the installation of four new electric vehicle charging stations. City officials were joined by community leaders and representatives of National Grid to commemorate the installation that was made possible by National Grid’s Make-Ready Electric Vehicle program, which funds electricity infrastructure costs associated with new EV charging stations for its upstate electric business customers.

“The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is proud to promote, support and connect our local business and tourism communities. We believe passionately in collaborations that enhance our abilities to live, work and play in Genesee County,” said Chamber President Erik Fix. “We are grateful for our partnership with National Grid and the BID (Business Improvement District) and appreciate them working together to bring EV car charging stations to downtown Batavia.”

National Grid’s program covered more than 90 percent of the infrastructure costs to install the charging stations, which includes two at Mancuso Bowling Center and two at the City Church.

“The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District board of directors was excited to pursue this project and are thrilled to see four EV charging locations within our downtown,” said BID Executive Director Beth Kemp in a statement. “We would not have been able to move forward with these progressive additions to our downtown without the assistance of National Grid, NYSERDA, Rick Mancuso and Marty Macdonald. Thank you to all partners involved.”

National Grid’s EV charging program is available for businesses, multi-unit residential buildings and retail stores, as well as parks and vacation destinations. The company also offers a program for companies looking to electrify their fleets, which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and meet the decarbonization goals of the states where the utility operates, officials said.

“Electric vehicle adoption is on the rise in New York state, and EV charging stations are a great way to attract employees and also a great way to attract and retain new customers,” said Paul Gister, customer and community engagement manager for National Grid.

Gister also said that EV charging stations have become more popular among landlords seeking to attract and retain tenants, as well as help the state achieve its energy targets.

“These programs include incentives for customers who have an eye on the future, who support clean energy initiatives and are providing a necessity for the vehicles that will take us there,” Gister added. “Initiatives like these are at the heart of how we collaborate with customers and significantly impact our communities and community partners. These kinds of collaborations are central to our Project C Initiative, which was created to inspire change and create a more equitable future for our customers and communities.”

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Inclusive solar program to provide funding for community projects

The state of New York has launched the Inclusive Community Solar Adder program that will make $52.5 million available for community solar projects that support underserved New Yorkers and disadvantaged communities.

Projects funded through the program are expected to serve up to 50,000 low-to-moderate income households, affordable housing providers and facilities serving disadvantaged communities, which will receive energy savings from the renewable energy generated by community solar.

Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the program provides an additional incentive for NY-Sun community solar projects that dedicate at least 20 percent of their project to low-to-moderate income households and disadvantaged communities. The program will increase access to community solar, help customers save at least 10 percent on their electric bills and reduce operating costs for affordable housing and nonprofits serving disadvantaged communities.

“As we build a more resilient grid, it’s of critical importance that we remove barriers and scale up access to clean, renewable energy resources for all New Yorkers,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris in a statement. “NYSERDA’s Inclusive Community Solar Adder program is unique in that it takes a two-pronged approach to increasing access to solar energy and cost savings by serving both families and affordable housing providers who support residents in disadvantaged communities.”

The program design was informed by a Request for Information issued by NYSERDA in December 2020, and by stakeholders who participated in a March 2021 webinar hosted by NYSERDA. Another webinar on the program will be held on July 28.

“The launch of the Inclusive Community Solar Adder program is a big step towards expanding the cost-savings and clean energy benefits of New York’s community solar program to low- and moderate-income residents,” said Coalition for Community Solar Access Northeast Regional Director Kaitlin Kelly O’Neill. “We are excited to see the hard work and commitment of NYSERDA resulting in a dedicated resource that further expands the accessibility of community solar projects for all the state’s energy consumers.”

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Drive Clean Rebate program offers additional $30 million to buy electric

An additional $30 million has been made available through New York state’s Drive Clean Rebate program to encourage drivers to lease or purchase all-electric vehicles or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said.

The funding and program changes will enhance vehicle affordability and help more New Yorkers take action to lower their carbon footprint while driving, the governor’s office said.

More than 37,000 rebates have been issued to date, totaling more than $54 million, through the Drive Clean Rebate program, which is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

“New York is putting more electric vehicles on the road as part of our comprehensive strategy to electrify the transportation sector and build a more sustainable future,” Cuomo said in a statement this month. “Reducing emissions from vehicles will continue to enhance the quality of life in communities across New York by improving air quality, especially in disadvantaged communities that have been disproportionately impacted by pollution and climate change.”

Program changes are being made so that more rebates can be distributed throughout the market, with some rebate ranges being lowered to allow more New Yorkers to take advantage of the incentives, officials explained. The changes for consumers will take place June 30, 2021, and include updated rebate levels to incentivize EVs with longer all-electric ranges and EVs with a base MSRP of less than $42,000.

More than 50 EV models are available in New York, and of those models, 15 have a range of more than 200 miles and are eligible for the rebate. Rebates begin at $500 for vehicles with an MSRP of more than $42,000 and top out at $2,000 for vehicles with a range of 200 miles or more.

“The successful Drive Clean Rebate program has made driving an EV even more affordable and supports the market’s growing demand for clean transportation options,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris. “Expanding this program will ensure more New Yorkers have the ability to choose to drive clean while helping to lower their carbon footprint in support of Gov. Cuomo’s climate and clean energy goals.”

In the Finger Lakes Region, nearly 3,300 rebate applications have been filed, representing 8.7 percent of all applications statewide. Rebate applications in the Long Island region make up the vast majority of all applications at more than 32 percent.

“In efforts to reach our clean energy goals we need to create policies and initiatives that will allow consumers to do their part and lower their carbon footprint,” said Sen. Kevin Parker, D-Brooklyn, chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee. “The Drive Clean Rebate Program incentive is a great program. I applaud NYSERDA and Gov. Cuomo for working to ensure drivers are able to do their part and protect the environment.”

The additional Drive Clean Rebate funding comes from revenue generated through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The state also is aggressively investing in the rapid build-out of its charging infrastructure with more than 7,000 charging stations installed statewide. The Charge Ready NY program provides $4,000 per charging port with an additional $500 per port for stations installed in disadvantaged communities and can be combined with the state’s 50 percent tax credit for charging station installation to boost savings.

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NYSERDA opens applications for $15 million Carbon Challenge

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has launched the third round of the Commercial and Industrial Carbon Challenge, making $15 million available as part of Round XI of the state’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

The C&I Carbon Challenge will help reduce carbon emissions at commercial and industrial businesses and institutions, combat climate change and drive economic growth statewide, officials said, and supports the state’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

“Launching the third round of the C&I Carbon Challenge demonstrates Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo’s steadfast commitment to investing in private-public partnerships that help to make some of New York’s largest energy users cleaner and more efficient,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris. “This funding will allow more commercial and industrial business owners across the state to adopt clean energy measures to reduce the onsite emissions and carbon footprint of their buildings while moving us closer to the achievement of the Governor’s nation-leading climate and clean energy goals.”

The C&I Carbon Challenge is a competitive program that provides funding to large commercial and industrial energy users to implement various cost-effective clean energy projects that reduce carbon emissions. The third round of funding is being made available to eligible businesses including manufacturers, colleges, health care facilities and more.

Funding will be provided in two categories. Category A is $10 million for proposals that include key solutions around beneficial electrification and reducing emissions related to manufacturing processes, while Category B is $5 million for proposals that employ energy efficiency, onsite clean energy generation or any other greenhouse gas reducing solution not included in Category A.

The challenge will provide awards ranging from $500,000 to $5 million. The deadline to apply is July 30.

“Building back better in New York state means continuing to fight climate change and investing in clean energy,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler. “NYSERDA’s $15 million challenge through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative will help commercial and industrial energy users find and implement projects to cut carbon emissions, supporting economic growth and encouraging greater sustainability across the state.”

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State launches clean transportation competition for underserved communities

New York state has launched a competition that will award up to $85 million to boost clean transportation.

The New York Clean Transportation Prizes program will feature three competitions for innovative global solutions to enhance clean transportation and mobility options and reduce harmful emissions statewide, with a focus on underserved communities.

The competitions include the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge, the Electric Mobility Challenge and the Electric Truck & Bus Challenge, with each running in two phases.

“Supporting pioneering clean transportation and mobility solutions is imperative in our fight against climate change and our goal of electrifying the transportation sector,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement this week. “This initiative helps to leverage forward-thinking strategies and enables clean transportation options in all communities to fight inequality. The competing teams will advance their most transformative ideas to lower carbon emissions, improve air quality, and create a lasting impact that benefits all New Yorkers.”

Applicants for the Clean Transportation Prizes competitions must register by July 22, 2021, to be eligible to submit proposals for the following Clean Transportation Prize competitions:

• Clean Neighborhoods Challenge – Up to three $10 million grand prizes will be awarded to projects that address air pollution reduction at scale in disadvantaged communities. The Clean Neighborhoods Challenge submission deadline is Aug. 24, 2021.
• Electric Mobility Challenge – Up to three $7 million grand prizes will be awarded to projects that demonstrate innovative safe and convenient electric mobility options that help to solve disadvantaged community transportation needs. Submission deadline is Aug. 25, 2021.
• Electric Truck & Bus Challenge – Up to three $8 million grand prizes will be awarded to projects that demonstrate electrified solutions to the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles or their replacement through other electrified transportation modes. The Electric Truck & Bus Challenge submission deadline is Aug. 26, 2021.

“Sustainable clean transportation options both enhance the quality of life in underserved communities and also support access to jobs, essential services and other beneficial travel,” said President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Doreen M. Harris. “Under Gov. Cuomo’s leadership, the New York Clean Transportation Prizes program will engage global innovators, transportation experts and other stakeholders to build innovative, replicable solutions that increase transportation options while helping meet our state’s clean energy agenda.”

An independent pool of global experts will help the state assess applications and help guide the project selection process through different phases of the competition.

Under the first phase of the program, projects selected and located in one of the six New York State Investor-Owned Utility territories will be eligible to receive the following award package:
• A $100,000 planning grant
• Up to $50,000 in funding for community partners
• Up to $50,000 in-kind support from NYSERDA-provided expert consultants
• Additional support services for project management, community engagement and measurement and verification

Up to 15 projects within the IOU territories could be awarded funding during the first phase, and proposals will be selected by winter 2021-2022. Final proposals will be submitted by spring 2022 as part of the second phase and grand prizes to be selected in summer 2022.

“Our industry welcomes New York’s three clean transportation competitions. By harnessing innovation and their competitive spirit, companies can show that while you are reducing pollution from transportation you can also provide cleaner air and better transit options to New York’s neighborhoods, and find creative ways to move freight or people,” said Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy Anne Reynolds. “We are excited to see the winning innovations that result.”

The transportation sector is responsible for the largest contribution to greenhouse gas pollution in the U.S., with these emissions increasing more than any other sector over the last 30 years. Announced in July 2020 under the $701 Make Ready Initiative to advance electric vehicle infrastructure, the Clean Transportation Prizes program accelerates the transition to cleaner mobility through planning grants and community outreach and engagement resources to help identify ways to overcome persistent transportation challenges, including those faced by disadvantaged communities.

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Two Rochester companies to share in state funding

Two Rochester-area companies have been awarded funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to support their decarbonization efforts.

Ekostinger and Graphenix Development Inc., with four additional New York companies, will share $3 million in non-dilutive matching investments as part of NYSERDA’s Co-Investment Fund. Each company has obtained at least twice as much in qualifying private capital investments and are advancing innovation to support decarbonization scale-up through hardware, software, technology-enabled services, data analytics and processes that broadly reduce energy consumption or increase resource efficiency, officials said.

“The companies supported through our programs are creating the services needed for startups to pioneer technologies and produce innovation needed to drive down emissions and boost clean energy,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris in a statement. “Bringing products to scale helps grow our green economy, save energy and provides consumers the opportunity to lower their carbon footprint in our fight against climate change.”

In total, $6 million was awarded, including $3 million for four Accelerate Southern Tier projects that also will support New York’s clean energy goals. Strategically investing in entrepreneurial projects that advance low carbon and clean energy solutions will enable the state to foster healthier communities and to broaden adoption of innovative initiatives to build out the state’s green energy economy and combat climate change, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said in the statement.

“New York has built a green energy economy that supports businesses from startup to commercialization to establish a cleaner, more sustainable future for communities across our state, consistent with the goals of our ambitious, nation-leading climate agenda,” Cuomo said. “We must invest in these valuable entrepreneurial programs that attract new technologies and companies in our effort to drive down carbon emissions, fight climate change and deliver environmental benefits to all New Yorkers.”

In Rochester, Ekostinger develops aerodynamic devices for tractor-trailers that reduce emissions by saving fuel consumption. Graphenix manufactures industry-leading ultracapacitor electrodes and silicon anodes, which will increase lithium-ion energy densities to enable repeated fast charging for energy storage applications.

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Monroe County gets its first EV fast charger hub

Monroe County has its first fast-charging station for electric vehicles.

New York state late last month unveiled the new station in the village of Fairport. The Direct Current Fast Charger hub is the sixth station completed as part of a statewide Evolve NY charging network being installed along key travel corridors and in urban areas to encourage travelers to drive electric vehicles. The New York Power Authority initiative makes charging quick and convenient and helps the state meet its ambitious clean energy goals.

“The Power Authority is building a robust network of fast, affordable and reliable public charging stations across the state while simultaneously working to raise awareness of the benefits of electric vehicles,” said NYPA President and CEO Gil Quiniones. “Fairport continues to step up as a leader in the Finger Lakes region and show a firm commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and integrating EVs into its community.”

The new 175 kW two-charger hub is located in the parking lot for Fairport Village Landing and is the first fast charger over 50 kW that provides non-proprietary charging in Monroe County. The hub features a dedicated Tesla adapter cable and can power any compatible electric vehicle.

In addition to the new DCFC units, which will support rapid charging of person and rideshare vehicles, the village is collaborating with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Electric Power Research Institute to install 50 home charging stations and 28 Level 2 public chargers elsewhere in the community.

“The Village of Fairport is so proud to have a long and advantageous partnership with the New York Power Authority. This latest endeavor continues to promote our mutual interest by providing green infrastructure for use by all consumers as we progress electric vehicle usage into our daily lives,” said Fairport Mayor Julie Domaratz.

Access to fast chargers, which can charge compatible EVs in as little as 20 minutes, fills key gaps to wider adoption of EVs, making them an easier and more realistic choice for drivers. Charging times vary based on the vehicles’ on-board charging equipment and the vehicle’s battery capacity. Level 2 chargers can take up to six hours for a full charge and are intended for use while drivers are working or shopping.

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Area organizations to receive workforce development grants

Some 75 businesses, schools and community-based organizations statewide have been awarded nearly $9.5 million as part of the state’s Workforce Development Initiative, including five in the Rochester and Finger Lakes Region.

“The economic impact of COVID-19 has completely upended the traditional workplace and we need a job training strategy that reflects the changing environment,” said state Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul in a statement. “As chair of New York State’s Regional Economic Development Councils, I am proud that our Workforce Development Initiative will continue to keep our state ahead of the curve and create a more inclusive post-pandemic future where opportunity is accessible to all New Yorkers.”

Funding and incentives for the program are being provided by the state Department of Labor, Empire State Development and the state Energy Research and Development Authority. The program will support critical job training and employment opportunities in high-demand industries for nearly 5,000 New Yorkers statewide.

“As we move forward from the devastating impacts COVID-19 has had on New York’s labor force, we need to create opportunities for workers to succeed in this competitive job market and address the long-term job training needs of growing industries. For many, that means providing workers with access to the skills necessary to compete,” said Assemblyman Harry Bronson. “This funding is crucial for ensuring that New Yorkers emerge strong and more resilient than ever before as we rebuild the New York State economy.”

In the Finger Lakes region grants were awarded to Lifetime Assistance; Rochester Institute of Technology; Rochester Rehabilitation Center Inc.; Seneca Cayuga Yates Counties Chapter NYSARC Inc., dba Mozaic; and Turner Underground Installations.

New York’s Regional Economic Development Councils play a key role in recommending applications for funding, based on regional economic needs and opportunities.

“As New York continues to advance Gov. Cuomo’s bold green energy goals, strategic investment in workforce development and training is essential for attracting workers to the clean energy industry, and preparing new and existing clean energy employees for rewarding and well-paying jobs,” said NYSERDA Acting President and CEO Doreen Harris. “In recent years, New York’s clean energy employment grew at a rate close to three-times the national clean energy job growth and upskilling the existing workforce while creating a pipeline of new talent for future green job opportunities is key to New York’s success as we transition to a carbon neutral economy.”

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Nearly $20 million available to electrify transit, school buses

New York state will offer a series of initiatives to increase the number of electric buses statewide as part of its efforts to mitigate climate change and boost access to clean transportation in underserved communities. The effort includes more than $16 million in incentives for the expansion of electric bus usage among public transportation authorities and $2.5 million for school bus operators to purchase cleaner forms of transportation.

“Electrifying transit and school buses at scale is an important step in our fight against climate change and is essential in helping us reach our ambitious goals to create a greener New York state,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement last week. “Through these initiatives, bus operators will now have the support and resources they need to modernize their fleets, reduce emissions and ensure underserved communities have cleaner public transit options as we work to further reduce our carbon footprint.”

Under the New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program, $16.4 million in Volkswagen settlement funding will be made available to five of the largest public transit operators in the state, including the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, to facilitate their fleets’ transition towards 100 percent zero-emission fleets by 2035, a goal Cuomo announced in his 2020 State of the State Address.

Through the program, purchasers of new, zero-emissions all-electric transit buses are eligible to have 100 percent of the incremental vehicle cost covered on the condition that the buses are housed at bus depots or operate on routes located within a half-mile of a disadvantaged community.

The funding builds on the NYTVIP expansion announced early last year. Combined, the five transit operators run more than 1,300 buses.

To provide further support, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) have reached an agreement that includes more than $1 million in funding for a new program to help the five upstate and suburban transit operators develop plans to convert to all-electric transit buses.

“By working with regional transit and school bus fleet operators we are removing dirty, polluting vehicles from our roadways and helping communities eliminate the health and environmental risks from carbon emissions,” said Doreen Harris, acting president and CEO of NYSERDA and Climate Action Council co-chair. “Investing in all-electric buses and offering transit authorities technical assistance shows the serious commitment that we are making under Gov. Cuomo’s plan to provide access to clean transportation options for all New Yorkers.”

Another $2.5 million also is available through the NYTVIP to school bus operators statewide to support the purchase of cleaner, less polluting buses. Funding will help cover up to 100 percent of incremental costs for all-electric school buses operating near a disadvantaged community. The program reduces the cost to purchase new, clean electric or alternative-fueled buses through point of sale rebates offered through a qualified vendor.

On Dec. 23, the state Office of General Services issued a Request for Information seeking details from manufacturers and dealers about electric and hybrid transit buses currently available in the marketplace. Responses to the RFI, which are due by Jan. 21, will be used to develop a solicitation for electric and hybrid buses with the goal of providing transit authorities with options for purchasing green vehicles for their fleets.

“One of the most impactful strategies to help bridge New York’s nation-leading greenhouse gas emissions goals is through strategic investments in high-quality, high-frequency public transportation services,” said state Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. “Electrification of public transportation fleets will build upon the more than 17 million metric tons annually of greenhouse gas emissions that these systems help to avoid.”

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NextCorps to partner on new climate technology accelerator

Rochester’s NextCorps will partner with SecondMuse to administer a new initiative that will offer global innovators the most comprehensive accelerator programming for attracting and growing climate technology in New York State.

The For ClimateTech initiative will help founders fast track businesses and breakthrough technologies that reduce greenhouse gases and further strengthen the state as a hub for climate-related solutions.

For ClimateTech will offer two inaugural programs. Scale For ClimateTech will help growth-stage innovators with production. Venture For ClimateTech will help innovators at earlier stages jumpstart their climate tech companies. Both programs will bring together a global community of innovators, entrepreneurs, funders and government representatives working to forge market-ready pathways for testing, piloting and selling climate-related solutions.

James Senall
James Senall

“There are very few cohort-based accelerators that work with innovators or companies at the very early stage — even before they form businesses,” said NextCorps President James Senall. “By providing access at this stage to a global network that includes investment communities, we’re helping to close the many support gaps that exist today in bringing new innovations to market.”

For ClimateTech formalizes and expands the partnership between SecondMuse’s M-Corps and NextCorps’ Hardware ScaleUp (HWSU), which together have helped more than 30 climate tech manufacturing businesses raise a collective $28 million in funding and generate approximately $10 million in revenue over the last two years. The assistance has had dramatic impacts on their success, demonstrating the value of manufacturing readiness and access to global and domestic manufacturers in New York State.

“This new initiative will build on the work our partnership has been doing over the last few years to launch climate tech businesses and create an ecosystem where these businesses can thrive over the long term,” said Todd Khozein, founder and co-CEO of impact innovation company SecondMuse. “Together, we are de-risking investment and identifying new market opportunities in the climate tech industry that drive real economic and environmental impact.”

Scale For ClimateTech began its programming for its inaugural cohort on Nov. 16. It includes 18 innovators from the U.S., U.K., Canada and Norway who are developing systems for electric vehicle charging, renewable energy storage and conversion and smart building solar power. The companies will spend nine to 12 months working with mentors and technical experts to help them navigate product development, manufacturing and mass production in New York State.

Venture For ClimateTech is a new global non-profit venture studio and accelerator that helps to launch climate tech companies. Venture For ClimateTech will work with an array of solutions, from hardware and software to business model innovations that tackle some of the state’s greatest challenges in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to clean infrastructure. Recruitment for the global, virtual program will kick off in January and the first cohort will onboard in April. In addition to helping innovators validate market fit and providing coaching and non-dilutive funding, the program will help find and fund talent to form companies.

The For ClimateTech initiative is supported by the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and more than a dozen partners including Urban Future Lab, Cornell University, REV: Ithaca Startup Works, NY Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and the Rochester Institute of Technology Golisano Institute of Sustainability in order to support programming and offer founders a range of resources, technical expertise and guidance.

“Innovators in these programs know their technologies have the potential to change the lives of millions of New Yorkers for the better, creating healthier communities through new and improved offerings that lower carbon emissions,” said Doreen Harris, NYSERDA’s acting president and CEO. “Through this initiative, we are delivering the technologies New York State needs to meet Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading climate and clean energy goals by partnering with a global network of investors and strategic partners who share our vision and understand the urgency with which we need to work.”

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NYSERDA teams with utilities on energy efficiency for low-income residents

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will team with the state’s investor-owned utilities on a new framework to increase access to energy efficiency and clean energy solutions for low- to moderate-income households and affordable multifamily buildings.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the initiative last week, noting that the collaboration and investments made as part of the initiative will result in cleaner and healthier indoor air and more affordable energy options for more than 350,000 low- to moderate-income (LMI) households statewide.

The framework, submitted to the state Department of Public Service, will more than double the number of low-income households and multifamily buildings receiving energy efficiency services such as insulation, air sealing, electric load reduction and HVAC improvements annually, as well as increase outreach, education and community-based support programs for energy efficiency improvements.

“As we continue our fight against climate change, we must ensure that all New Yorkers have access to clean energy and are not left behind in the transition to a green economy, particularly those in our most vulnerable communities who most directly feel the harmful impacts of climate change and environmental degradation,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This groundbreaking public-private partnership is a smart and innovative approach that will bring affordable, clean energy solutions directly into the homes of those who need them most, and make the lives of all New Yorkers safer and healthier.”

LMI households are disproportionately impacted by energy costs, with many experiencing an annual energy burden exceeding 20 percent of their household income.

The statewide framework will invest nearly $1 billion through 2025 to advance energy efficiency in the LMI market segment including:
• More than $300 million to reduce energy burdens by increasing access to energy efficiency for LMI homeowners and renters;
• More than $500 million to improve energy efficiency in affordable multifamily buildings;
• $45 million for community-level engagement and capacity building with community-based organizations; and
• $30 million for developing clean heating and cooling solutions for LMI homes and buildings through research and analysis of institutional barriers and funding of pilots and demonstrations.

The framework filed July 27 includes a substantial increase in funding for low- to moderate-income energy efficiency and outlines a comprehensive strategy between NYSERDA and the state’s investor-owned utility companies including Central Hudson, Con Edison, National Fuel Gas, National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas/Rochester Gas & Electric and Orange & Rockland, with expanded funding in 2020 and new and modified programs beginning next year.

The new initiatives are expected to increase market demand and create new opportunities for clean energy workers. Through the Clean Energy Fund, NYSERDA will offer a range of workforce development and training opportunities.

Statewide, 3.2 million households, or 40 percent of residents, qualify as LMI, with incomes at or below 80 percent of their area’s median income. Buildings account for 45 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from fuel combustion and electric generation in the state, officials noted.

NYSERDA also is offering $10 million in funding through Green Jobs – Green New York to support a Loan Loss Reserve Program prioritizing lending to support green jobs and lending for energy efficiency and renewable energy in communities across the state. The pilot program will have a direct benefit to underserved borrowers by reducing the risk for community-based Financial institutions that loan money for energy efficiency improvements installed in residential and multifamily buildings, as well as in buildings used by small businesses and not-for-profits.

“Today’s announcement marks an important progression in a series of actions the state is taking to ensure no New Yorker, regardless of income, is denied access to energy efficiency services that provide more comfortable, clean and healthy living environments,” said NYSERDA Acting President and CEO Doreen Harris. “Our investment underscores the laser focus we have in advancing New York’s just and equitable transition to a carbon-neutral economy under Gov. Cuomo’s leadership.”

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Rochester company selected as 76West Competition semifinalist

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has selected 20 semifinalists as part of its annual 76West Clean Energy Competition, including one Rochester organization.

In the Finger Lakes Region, Paradigm of New York was one of the companies chosen among 183 applicants worldwide. Paradigm designs and manufactures pollution control devices for diesel and gasoline engines.

The 76West Competition celebrates emerging clean energy innovation while supporting business and economic growth as one of the largest competitions in the U.S.

“This year’s 76West semifinalists have brought forward a wide range of innovative clean energy technologies that can help New York scale up its progress with meeting our nation-leading climate and clean energy goals established by Gov. Cuomo,” said NYSERDA Acting President and CEO Doreen Harris. “This competition sets the semifinalists up for success through mentoring opportunities with Southern Tier companies as they advance their proposals. Clean energy innovation will continue to be a critical ingredient for tackling some of our nation’s most pressing environmental and clean energy challenges.”

Administered by NYSERDA, the 76West Competition was started in 2016 as a $20 million four-year initiative to grow the clean energy ecosystem in the Southern Tier with funds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Clean Energy Fund. Because of its positive impact, the competition this year is being funded by Empire State Development through the Southern Tier Soaring Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

The 20 semifinalists represent a range of clean energy companies focused on energy storage, efficiency, transportation and more. Each company will be paired with a local company for mentorship and advisement on advancing through the competition. The semifinalists will present their final pitches to a panel of judges the week of Aug. 17 at a virtual session hosted by the Southern Tier Startup Alliance.

The judges will then select four winners who will be awarded a total of $2.5 million in funding this fall. The grand prize will be $1 million, while three others will receive funding of $500,000 each.

As a result of NYSERDA’s technology investments and business development support, more than 440 new and improved clean energy products have been commercialized, officials said.

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NYSERDA sweetens investment pot for clean energy companies

wind turbineNew York State is making available $6 million in matching funds to extend early-stage investment available to clean energy companies.

The fund managed by the New York State Research and Development Authority was set up to match investments from a pre-approved list of investment companies, who will provide a two-to-one match for money from the state’s fund.

Energy companies must be located in New York or demonstrate an economic impact in this state to be eligible.

“Emerging cleantech companies are the foundation of New York’s clean energy future, making it critical that we continue providing the support and tools they need to succeed,” said Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “Investing in new technologies will play an increasingly vital role in our success as Gov. (Andrew M.)  Cuomo continues to lead the nation with his ambitious clean energy goals and agenda…”

Cuomo’s Green New Deal strives to reduce carbon emissions from electricity production to zero by 2020, and to reach an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gases between 1990 and 2050.

A list of the investment companies participating in the matching program is available on the NYSERDA website.

Free home audits part of Cuomo’s energy strategy

cable-clouds-current-electricityIn what promises to be a boost for not only cost-conscious homeowners, but also for energy companies in the new green economy, New York State is making available free residential energy audits.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is making the audits available to homeowner regardless of income. The initiative is part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal for New York to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030. The goals also include reaching zero carbon emissions from the generation of electricity by 2040.

”New York is leading the country when it comes to deploying a broad-based strategy to fight climate change, and New York homeowners can help play a role by lowering the carbon footprints of their own homes,” said Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA.  “The new Residential Energy Audit program will provide homeowners with an opportunity to lower their energy costs, fight climate change, and live sustainably and comfortably in their home by making informed home energy improvement decisions.”

The free audits became available Jan. 1 and are available for homes housing one to four families. The audits include reviewing homeowner’s energy bills and usage patterns, and result in a report on energy performance and ways to make improvements. Funding to cover the costs of the audits come from the state’s $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund.

Homeowners can find audit contractors participating in the program on NYSERDA’s website. As part of the audit program, consumers will also have access to green jobs, energy contractors who can help with home improvements to conserve energy and improve efficiency, and loans to pay for improvements.

“It’s great news that New York will now be offering a simpler home energy audit, free to all,” said Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York. “We hope every New York homeowner uses this program–to learn how to save energy and money–for themselves, and for the planet.”

[email protected]/(585) 363-7275

Area businesses, colleges to share $3.4 million in workforce development funds

More than five dozen businesses, community colleges and organizations will share $3.4 million in funding for workforce development this year as part of the state’s historic $175 million Workforce Development Initiative.

Funding is provided by the state Department of Labor, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the State University of New York. Since launching in May 2019, nearly $6.5 million has been awarded.

More than one-third of the 61 organizations awarded funds this year are in the Finger Lakes region, including:

  • Berry Global
  • Bonduelle Americas
  • Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic
  • Creative Food Ingredients
  • Cutco Corp.
  • Harbec
  • Lifetime Assistance
  • Markin Tubing
  • McAlpin Industries
  • Newark-Wayne Community Hospital
  • O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative
  • Optimax
  • Orolia
  • Ortho Clinical Diagnostics
  • Park Ridge Nursing Home
  • Pfisterer Lapp
  • Prestolite Electric
  • Rochester General Hospital
  • Rochester General Long Term Care
  • Spectracom
  • University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Unity Hospital

“These awards will help ensure that thousands of workers across the state are not only prepared for the jobs of today, but are ready to take on the jobs of tomorrow,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release. “New York’s workforce must adapt to the rapidly changing, modern economy and the Workforce Development Initiative will give our workers the edge they need to stay competitive.”

The professional training projects are supported by SUNY community colleges across the state, including Adirondack, Broome, Corning, Dutchess, Fashion Institute of Technology, Genesee, Jamestown, Monroe, Nassau, North Country, Tompkins Cortland and Westchester. Projects funded through the state DOL include sites in the Finger Lakes, Long Island and New York City. Projects funded through NYSERDA are all located in New York City.

“Developing a strong workforce pipeline is a significant issue facing communities all across New York State,” said DOL Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “This initiative helps address that by ensuring that industry leaders are engaged with the education and training providers from early on in the process, resulting in the creation of meaningful training programs that will have a real impact on the problem.”

The state’s Workforce Development Initiative was announced last May and is designed to support strategic regional efforts that meet businesses’ short-term workforce needs, improve regional talent pipelines, enhance the flexibility and adaptability of local workforce entities, expand apprenticeships and address the long-term needs of growing industries.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
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