The New York Power Authority today honored government agencies and officials for their work to advance energy efficiency at a time when the state has ramped up efforts to increase the use of renewable energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The awards were given at NYPA’s 2016 Innovators Summit: Accelerating New York’s Energy Future, held at the Gideon Putnam Hotel.
“The summit is the ideal venue to honor the creativity and ingenuity we need to ensure a clean energy future for the state,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “It’s heartening to see there is no shortage of great ideas.”
The Innovators Summit underscores efforts to meet the goals of BuildSmart NY, a program created by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo that mandates a 20 percent energy efficiency improvement in state-owned and managed buildings by 2020. It is also consistent with the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build an energy system in New York that is cleaner, more efficient, and affordable for all New Yorkers.
Governor Cuomo has also established a Clean Energy Standard that requires half of all electricity use to come from renewable sources by 2030 to help reach a goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by then. The awardees were recognized, in part, for furthering the Governor’s initiatives.
They included George Hoehmann, supervisor of the town of Clarkstown in Rockland County, who led the installation of a 2.36 MW solar array at the town’s decommissioned landfill and currently has a project underway to upgrade mare than 3,000 street lights with LED technology.
Also receiving individual recognition was Kate Lawrence, Albany’s former sustainability planner, who led the creation of the city’s energy master plan. Lawrence was also instrumental in Albany’s participation in the Climate Smart Communities Certification Program, a state initiative that recognizes municipalities that take tangible steps to reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions, encourage green-energy innovations and use more renewables.
Three state agencies were also recognized for energy efficiency measures, including:
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which achieved the largest reduction in energy use intensity—the amount of energy used per square foot--of any agency with 2 million square feet or more of managed space. Significant capital upgrades at key facilities and strong energy management practices were credited. The MTA was also recognized for achieving a 20 percent reduction in EUI at Grand Central Terminal since the 2010-11 state fiscal year, the baseline for measurement, through upgrades of steam systems, air handlers, the replacement of chillers and cooling towers; and the installation of high-efficiency lighting.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation, whose Ray Brook regional headquarters achieved a 21 percent EUI reduction following the installation of high-performance boilers, energy-efficient doors and windows, foam insulation and heat system upgrades. DEC is also planning to install a high-performance wood gasification biomass heating plant at the Ray Brook facility.
The state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, which recorded a 17.8 percent EUI reduction, the largest of any state agency. The reduction is due in part to a major headquarters renovation that emphasized energy efficiency.
The State University of New York at New Paltz received the Innovative Energy Project of the Year award for a hybrid solar-battery energy storage system that will be installed and financed by NYPA. The project, which also received a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority grant, enables a gym to serve as an emergency evacuation shelter and effectively operate as a microgrid in the event of a loss of power.