New York Gov. Cuomo Promotes Energy Efficiency, Solar, Green Manufacturing

Last week, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a range of clean-energy and environmental initiatives, including a $450 million investment aimed at reducing energy use in state buildings by 20 percent over four years.

The efficiency upgrades will include new lighting fixtures, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, electric motors and automated energy management systems. In addition, the New York Power authority (NYPA) will offer $350 million over the same period to county and local governments and schools to provide energy efficiency financing and technical services. NYPA will use low-cost financing for the projects and recover costs by sharing in the resulting electric-bill savings, said an April 26 statement from Gov. Cuomo’s office.

“The initiatives announced today will save businesses, homeowners, and taxpayers money and help ensure that our state remains a leader in clean energy production and environmental protection,” Gov. Cuomo said in the statement.

Last year, NYPA provided $186 million in financing for energy efficiency and clean energy projects at nearly 2,600 public facilities throughout the state. The completed projects have saved taxpayers $9 million so far and created more than 3,000 jobs statewide, said Gov. Cuomo in a statement issued on April 27.

Gov. Cuomo also announced the launch of the NY-Sun Initiative, which aims to double the amount of customer-sited solar power installed annually in New York, and quadruple that amount by 2013. The NY-Sun Initiative was first outlined by the governor in his 2012 State of the State Address. The initiative brings together and expands existing programs administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and NYPA.

Last month, the state Public Service Commission approved doubling NYSERDA’s funding for customer-sited solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems to $432 million over the next four years. The new funding will increase financial incentives for large, commercial-sized PV projects and expand incentive programs for small-to-medium residential and commercial systems.

NYSERDA has awarded $4.2 million to Intertek, an international provider of quality assurance testing and certification, to open the first solar testing laboratory on the East Coast at the company’s facility in Cortland. The company will also launch a new wind turbine blade testing laboratory at Clarkson University.

Also late last week, Gov. Cuomo announced the launch of the Green Initiative at the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The program will provide New York businesses with expertise and strategies for reducing the use of hazardous materials, commercializing nascent green products and improving the sustainability of the manufacturing supply chain, according to the April 26 statement.

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