Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo unveiled New York State's new energy plan: Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), a joint effort between the Public Service Commission (PSC), NYSERDA, and state and local governments. This comprehensive strategy will spur clean energy innovation and investment through promoting energy efficiency, electric vehicles, microgrids, wind, solar, and energy storage.
Here are some of the major initiatives which will transform New York's energy system:
A program which allows schools across the state to install affordable solar energy with no upfront costs. The no-obligation program includes free site assessments, solar-energy analysis, technical and administrative support, and expedited permitting. In addition, the initiative supports STEM curriculum through teacher training and materials. 600 schools in 250 school districts have already signed up for this innovative program.
A competition which encourages businesses, entrepreneurs, and electric utilities to design and implement community-based microgrids. These projects will offer energy reliability, resiliency, and energy independence to cities and towns throughout New York State, as well as local power generation and distribution.
COST: $40 million
A program which expands solar development throughout the state and features a long-term, predictable incentive structure. A portion of the investments will ensure that solar becomes available to low and middle-income customers. There are currently 26 "solarize" campaigns which will improve solar accessibility in cities and communities throughout the Empire State.
COST: $1 billion
GOAL: >3000mw to renewable capacity
An initiative to install electric vehicle charging stations, boosting the number of electric vehicles in the state. In the past three years, approximately 500 electric vehicle charging stations have been installed, with a twelve-fold increase in the number of electric vehicles.
GOAL: 3,000 charging stations to support 40,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2018.
The goal of this program is to incorporate smart growth practices through the state, demonstrating the economic and environmental benefits of community participation in distributed clean energy projects. So far, 91 projects have been awarded, which will promote resiliency and sustainability throughout New York State.
COST: approx. $100 million
This initiative highlights collaboration between state and local government for a cleaner energy future. Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Yonkers have developed an energy master plan which includes energy efficiency, renewable generation, and other local energy needs. Each city will save up to $400 million annually on energy costs.
GOAL: Reduce municipal energy consumption in each city by at least 20% by 2020.
This program promotes energy efficiency in state-owned buildings, fosters investment in smart growth, supports economic development, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful environmental pollutants.
GOAL: 20% improvement in energy performance in state-owned and managed facilities by 2020.
New York State recently opened New York Energy Manager (NYEM), the first energy management network operations center which utilizes big data analytics to provide secure, comprehensive energy management reporting for more than 3000 public buildings. More than 20% of all state facilities have already been integrated into the NYEM Network.
As we speak, REV initiatives continue to be implemented in cities, towns, and communities throughout New York State, providing an example of energy leadership which will hopefully be emulated in other areas of the United States.