New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that New York State will award nearly $1 million each to the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and Suffolk County Community College as part of the Energy to Lead Competition. The competition challenges New York colleges and universities to develop plans for local clean energy projects on campus and in their communities as the state seeks solutions to combat climate change.
The University of Rochester will install a combination solar PV and energy storage system that will feed into an existing university microgrid, offsetting the energy requirements of an upcoming high-efficiency academic building. The project is expected to result in the avoidance of 91 metric tons of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions annually.
“This funding will help establish a net-zero building on the university’s campus that integrates solar production with energy storage in a completely scalable fashion,” explains Richard Feldman, president of the University of Rochester. “The solar/energy storage array will also support research and educational opportunities for our students and faculty. In addition, partnering with ENEROC – a member of the City of Rochester’s Market Driven Corp. – for the installation will provide a local Rochester workforce and support our community’s ongoing efforts to reduce poverty.”
RIT will create a platform that integrates multiple data sources to enable the existing building automation system to manage operation schedules, adjust ventilation rates in classrooms and respond to peak demand days. The platform, once tested and deployed at RIT, will be tested at Monroe Community College’s downtown campus and then made publicly available free of charge for other institutions to leverage. The project is expected to result in the avoidance of 108 metric tons of GHG emissions annually.
Suffolk County Community College will implement net-zero energy components during construction of its Renewable Energy & Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Center, including ground-source heat pumps and solar. The project design will focus on reducing building thermal loads and will serve as a replicable approach to energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy. It will showcase clean energy technologies to the broader community and will integrate curricula to develop a qualified workforce to support the growing clean energy industry. The project is expected to result in the avoidance of 227 metric tons of GHG emissions annually.
“Through the ‘Energy to Lead’ competition, New York is fostering clean energy innovation to help fight climate change and protect our environment,” states Cuomo. “I commend the students and faculty for their steadfast commitment to improving their campus and community, helping to create a cleaner, greener New York for all.”
The competition, announced by Cuomo in 2015, is part of the REV Campus Challenge, which recognizes and supports colleges and universities in New York State that strive to meet their financial, environmental, academic and community goals through clean energy solutions.
In May 2016, Bard College, SUNY University at Buffalo and SUNY Broome Community College were each awarded $1 million through the competition. These projects are expected to be completed in fall 2020.
The competition is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and is open to two- or four-year public or private colleges or universities.