Governor Cuomo Announces Awards to 83 Communities Across New York to Support Local Clean Energy and Resiliency

Written by Long Island News & PR  |  09. July 2015

Albany, NY - July 8, 2015 - Governor Cuomo announced awards of approximately $100,000 each will be given to 83 communities across the state to support innovative microgrid projects. These awards were granted as part of the NY Prize microgrid competition to support a new generation of community-based power under Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy.

"New Yorkers have first-hand experience regarding the need for resilient and efficient power systems that can withstand whatever Mother Nature has in store for us," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will help communities across New York invest in these new systems, which will ensure critically important institutions such as police and fire stations, hospitals and schools can continue operating during and in the aftermath of an extreme weather event.”

The 83 communities will study the feasibility of installing a community microgrid—a standalone energy system that can operate independently of the main grid in the event of a power outage. Such systems would integrate renewable power with other advanced energy technologies to create a cleaner, more affordable and more resilient localized energy grid for a limited number of users.

Announced by Governor Cuomo last August and administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the NY Prize microgrid competition generated unprecedented interest from communities across the state, with more than 130 cities, villages, towns and municipalities submitting proposals for the competition’s Stage 1 awards announced today. In addition to offering energy independence during a power outage, microgrids can benefit utilities on days of high power demand by reducing energy drawn from the main grid and providing additional power when needed.

New York State Chairman of Energy and Finance Richard Kauffman said, "The overwhelming response from communities across the state is yet another sign Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy is responding to the needs of New Yorkers. The NY Prize competition brings together local leadership and private sector innovation to develop clean, resilient and affordable power solutions for communities from the South Fork on Long Island to Buffalo and the North Country.”

Award recipients include local governments, community organizations, non-profit entities, for-profit companies and municipally-owned utilities. All winning projects must be integrated into utility networks and serve multiple customers, including at least one "critical infrastructure" customer, such as a hospital, police station, fire station or water treatment facilities.

Awards represent all 10 regions of the State, including:

  • Capital Region: 9 projects/awards
  • Central New York: 4 projects/awards
  • Finger Lakes: 3 projects/awards
  • Mid-Hudson: 23 projects/awards
  • Long Island: 14 projects/awards
  • Mohawk Valley: 2 projects/awards
  • New York City: 9 projects/awards
  • North Country: 7 projects/awards
  • Southern Tier: 7 projects/awards
  • Western New York: 5 projects/awards

For a full list of project locations, click here.

Project descriptions and contact information for winners are featured on the NY Prize Opportunity Zone Map. Five communities receiving awards -- Buffalo, Westfield, Bath, Sherburne and East Hampton -- were announced previously.

NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes said, "These results show how great the potential is to work with communities across New York State on good, local, resilient power, and how valuable Governor Cuomo's NY Prize program is. This is an important first step to ensuring that we're prepared for extreme weather events, and is a vital component of the State’s future energy direction under Reforming the Energy Vision."

“The increase in severe weather over the past few years has made it necessary for vulnerable regions across the state to find better ways to prepare and protect infrastructure, community facilities, homes, schools and businesses from power outages,” said Storm Recovery Interim Executive Director Lisa Bova-Hiatt. “Through the NY Prize Microgrid Competition, Governor Cuomo has given innovators the tools and resources necessary to create resiliency plans that make the most sense for individual communities.”

Over the next six to eight months, winners will assess the technical, operational and financial feasibility of their proposed community microgrid. These studies will uncover the most favorable technical configurations, as well as immediate opportunities for energy efficiency and distributed energy installations. Once the studies are completed, communities can compete for further support from NY Prize or pursue the distributed energy resource opportunities uncovered in their feasibility study.

The 83 communities receiving support for feasibility studies may choose to apply for detailed engineering support in Stage 2 of the competition. NYSERDA will also work with third parties and the State’s utilities to provide access to existing clean energy programs and services for communities that do not receive NY Prize support. In Stage 3, the final competition stage, NY Prize funding will be made available for project construction; both Stage 2 and 3 will involve a cost-share.

Ken Daly, President National Grid New York, said, “National Grid congratulates the NY Prize recipients and we are eager to support the teams in our service area in the feasibility phase of this project. We have been actively supporting these advanced energy projects, which will help the State achieve its resiliency goals and will deliver microgrid solutions powered by clean natural gas, distributed generation, and energy storage, while greatly benefiting the local communities we proudly serve.”

Mark Lynch, president and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E, said, “Providing safe, reliable service is our priority, and these projects will complement our efforts. We also look forward to expanding our engagement with innovative community partners to support clean, cost-effective energy resources as part of the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy.”

James P. Laurito, President and C.E.O. of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp., said, “The innovative programs under development through the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision offer new ways to fulfill our mission to deliver reliable service. The NY Prize competition provides opportunities for public-private partnerships in evaluating promising new technologies to improve system resiliency and service reliability for our customers.”

John McAvoy, Con Edison Chairman and CEO, said, “Customer-sited energy projects and new technologies are driving tremendous change, and Con Edison is committed to help promote new options for our customers. We look forward to working with communities seeking to develop microgrid projects.”

About Reforming the Energy Vision
Under Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision, New York State is spurring clean energy innovation and attracting new investment to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. Reforming the Energy Vision encompasses groundbreaking regulatory reform to integrate clean energy into the core of our power grid, redesigned programs and strategies to unlock private capital, and active leadership in deploying innovative energy solutions across the State’s own public facilities and operations. Reforming the Energy Vision will enable a dynamic, clean energy economy operating at a scale that will stimulate opportunities for communities across the state to create jobs and drive local economic growth, while protecting our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. Successful initiatives already launched as part of Reforming the Energy Vision 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 Reforming the Energy Vision, please click here


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