Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Record number of entrants to $200,000 Creative Core emerging business plan competition

The race is on for the largest privately funded business plan competition in the country ...  

A record number of applicants are competing for a $200,000 cash prize to be awarded through the Creative Core emerging business plan competition now underway.  One of the country's premier competitions, it is sponsored by the MDA and supported by NYBDC, M&T Bank and other underwriters. 

Read an update, and get a great overview on other regional news at the Creative Core NY report.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Earthsense releases national survey on appliance rebate program: Will results surprise you?

Three in five adults nationally believe appliance rebates will help them save energy, but more than half (55%) of U.S. adults have no idea that there is a new national rebate program, according to a recent Green Confidence survey conducted by Syracuse-based Earthsense.

Big ticket household appliance purchases such as clothes washers, dryers, dishwashers and water heaters – are made infrequently, with many people waiting until the unit breaks down beyond repair before considering a replacement. In order to encourage consumers to upgrade to more efficient appliances, the government has introduced a new “Cash for Clunkers” program for appliances –“Cash for Appliances” -- as newer appliances have become more efficient consuming energy and usage of water. But instead of one nationally administered program, each state is handling the details itself: 50 individual state programs; 50 different rules; 50 different dates.

The good news is that nearly a third of Americans hope to participate and believe by purchasing new energy-efficient appliances they will make their homes more efficient and lower their energy bills. However, they still have concerns about cost.

Consumers believe benefits of appliance recycling to be:
  • It will make homes more energy efficient -- 59%
  • It will lower monthly utility bills -- 57%
  • People can replace an old appliance with a new one -- 49% 
  • It will stimulate our economy through spending -- 46% 
  • It’s the right thing to do for the environment  --44%
  • People will buy Energy Star appliances who otherwise could not afford them -- 44%
  • It will help create jobs -- 28%

Consumers believe negative effects of rebate program to be:
  • There’s no guarantee that harmful components (Freon, etc.) will be disposed of properly -- 60%
  • It will increase personal debt -- 39%
  • People won’t know how to recycle their old appliances -- 37%
  • It will increase our national debt -- 29%
  • It will replace perfectly good appliances -- 27%
  • No real negatives it’s a win-win for consumers and the economy -- 26%
  • It will increase our trade deficit by allowing purchases of foreign-made products -- 23%
  • No program benefits, it’s just a marketing scam to get people to buy more stuff -- 18%
  • Power use will increase, not decrease, as some people will keep using their old appliances even when they buy new ones -- 13%
Source: Green Confidence Survey 2009
About Earthsense: An applied market research company, headquartered in Syracuse, NY, Earthsens is known for producing the largest, most comprehensive survey on consumers’ attitudes and behaviors on green products and services (Eco-Insights), and co-produces the Green Consumer Survey, which includes a monthly indicator for green consumer activity. For more information: www.earthsense.com 315-579-0013

Monday, February 22, 2010

Syracuse-based Clean Tech Center makes list of top ten cleantech cluster organizations for 2010






Top 10 cleantech cluster organizations for 2010
February 22, 2010 by Shawn Lesser in the Cleantech Group report
Global Environment Fund - Investing for a Cleaner World since 1990

http://cleantech.com/news/5640/top-10-cleantech-clusters

Shawn Lesser of Sustainable World Capital scoured the world looking for leading cleantech economic development regions. Here's his list of top clusters to watch.
 
What's a cleantech cluster?

Indeed, many people may have not heard the term, although it could quickly gain currency as people increasingly realize the tremendous opportunities offered by the cleantech sector.

For purposes of this list, we define a cleantech cluster organization as an economic development organization aimed at growing jobs in a specific geographic region. Among a cleantech cluster’s main goals are to promote innovation and investment.

Creating such a cluster is no simple task. First, the right circumstances must be present: A thriving technology base, abundant entrepreneurial and management talent, access to capital, and a proactive environmental public policy. It’s not easy to create, but once in place, a cleantech cluster can, in theory, create thousands of new jobs and attract billions of investment dollars to a region.

Which regions have managed to best attract and leverage these key ingredients to help create the world’s best cleantech cluster organizations? Here's one observer's top 10 list:

1. Austria Eco World Styria, Graz Austria - Eco World Styria bills itself as Europe’s Green Tech Valley. The small region of Styria in Austria is home to more than 150 cleantech companies, of which one dozen are world technology leaders in their field. The cleantech revenue of Styrian companies totals €2.7 billion. This equals to 8 percent of the Gross Regional Product (GRP), and is one of the highest concentrations of leading clean technology companies in Europe. The companies have an average (real) growth rate of 22 percent per year—well above the worldwide cleantech market growth of 18 percent per year. The region created roughly 2,000 additional green jobs in 2008 alone. Among the key reasons for the area’s phenomenal performance: Numerous specialized research centers, a strong tradition of engineering as well as a leading research quota of 4.3 percent of the GRP. That’s why Styria is, despite its small size, one of the largest clusters in Europe. Cluster success stories include: Andritz AG, Komptech, KWB Biomass Heating Systems, Binder+c.

2. The New England Clean Energy Council, Cambridge Massachusetts - The New England cleantech economy could bring in $1 billion in investment by 2012, the region believes, and the New England Clean Energy Council is at the forefront of this opportunity. Formed in 2007, the council’s mission is to accelerate New England’s clean energy economy and elevate it to a position of global leadership by building an active community of stakeholders and a world-class cluster of clean companies. The council represents nearly 150 members, comprising clean energy companies, venture investors, major financial institutions, local universities and colleges, industry associations, area utilities, labor and large commercial end-users. Its ranks include more than 50 clean energy CEOs, representatives from most of the region’s top 10 law firms, and partners from over a dozen of the region's top venture capital firms (with a total of over $8 billion under management). Working with its stakeholders, the council develops and executes an array of programs in five key focus areas: Innovation, Growth, Education and Training, Adoption, & Policy. Cluster success stories include: Ze-Gen, Seven Solar, Next Step Living.

3. Finnish Cleantech Cluster, Lahti Finland - The Finnish Cleantech Cluster is a true Finnish success story. The cluster features access to over 250 Cleantech companies, 60 % of Finland’s Cleantech business and 80 % of Cleantech research in Finland. Lahti Science and Business Park is the coordinator of the Finnish Cleantech Cluster. Among the primary goals of this cluster is to create + 40 new high-growth companies annually, a goal which has already been reached. It also aims to increase Cleantech VC investments to 15% of total investments. In terms of job creation, the Finnish Cleantech Cluster has created + 500 new green job, and the target for this year is more than 900 new positions. Lahti has an excellent overview of the general deal flow, + 100 investment cases, in Finland. The market operations in November 2009 are covering Russia, China with FECC, and India, through the strategic collaboration with YES Bank India. LSBP hosts numerous cleantech investor events annually like cleantech workshops and Cleantech Venture Day. Cluster success stories include Eagle Windpower, EcoCat, Numcore and Green Stream Network.

4. MaRS, Toronto Canada - Canada's MaRS is a large scale, mission-driven innovation center located in Toronto and networked across Canada. It is focused on building Canada’s next generation of cleantech companies. Led by Tom Rand, a veteran entrepreneur, policy advocate, and venture capitalist, the Cleantech Practice at MaRS has quickly established itself as the largest Cleantech deal-flow engine in the country. Founded last year, the Canada MaRS Advisory Services team has already worked with over 250 cleantech companies from across the province. MaRS provides business advice and mentorship, market intelligence, entrepreneurship education, seed capital and access to critical talent, customer and partner networks. MaRS brought five of its cleantech stars to the Cleantech Group's Boston Forum, and will bring five more to this week's San Francisco Forum. MaRS is the largest cleantech deal-flow engine in Canada. Cluster success stories include: Morgan Solar, NIMTec, Hybrid Energy Technologies, and SkyMeter.

5. Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster, Copenhagen Denmark - Copenhagen has a stated goal of becoming the world’s first CO2-neutral capital. Danish cleantech solutions are world famous, and Denmark is one of world’s largest exporters of cleantech as measured by GDP. The Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster cluster comprises 40 players, and the aim is to total 200 by 2013. The Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster operates under a $30 million budget financed by the EU, Region Zealand and the Danish Capital Region. It also has a unique set of partners, including Copenhagen Capacity, Scion DTU, Confederation of Danish Industries (DI), Risø DTU, University of Copenhagen as well as a number of municipalities and huge companies including Dong Energy, Vestas, Haldor Topsøe, Novozymes, Siemens and Better Place Denmark. Specific goals include the creation of 1,000 new jobs and 10 public-private sector partnerships, the staging of 200 events, the involvement of more than 200 players as well as collaboration with 15 international Cleantech clusters. Cluster success stories include: Stirling DK, PhotoSolar, EcoXpac and Better Place Denmark.


6. The CleanTech Center, Syracuse New York - You've heard of the big apple. The green apple is Central Upstate New York. With 38 colleges and universities, 138,000 college students, $2 billion in annual funded R&D and a green landscape that supports clean energy production, NY's "green core" is launching and growing clean tech enterprises. The CleanTech Center at the Syracuse-based Tech Garden, and The Syracuse Center of Excellence in Energy and Environmental Systems are at the forefront of the green innovation movement, supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, making it one of the best-funded programs in the U.S. The CleanTech Center is a cutting-edge clean energy incubator that links entrepreneurs, investors and academic researchers, and is also a clearinghouse of information on the cleantech sector in New York State. Successes include: The Paper Battery Company, MicroGen Systems and Earthsense.
 

7. CleanTECH San Diego, San Diego, California - With an estimated 650 cleantech companies in the region, San Diego is emerging as a global leader in cleantech. Led by an initiative of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, CleanTECH San Diego has developed a comprehensive one-stop-shop and vibrant ecosystem for clean tech companies to accelerate their growth. San Diego already has a track record. Having less than a third the population of Los Angeles, San Diego has installed 60% more solar roofs than its neighbor to the north. In July 2009, San Diego was recognized as the leading solar city in the No. 1 solar state, with over 2,200 rooftop installations and the most solar capacity in the state. Cluster successes include Siliken Renewable Energy, Clear Edge Power, Synthetic Genomics and Sapphire Energy.

8. Environmental Business Cluster, San Jose, California - Established in 1994, the Environmental Business Cluster (EBC) is a nonprofit technology commercialization center created to assist early stage for profit companies developing products or services intended to have a positive impact on the environment. Since 2003, the EBC has specialized in assisting clean energy and emerging energy efficiency companies and has also been working with the California Energy Commission and the National Renewable Energy Lab to provide commercialization services to selected applied research grant recipients. Today, the EBC manages the largest private technology commercialization program for clean energy start ups in the United States. The EBC is sponsored by the San Jose Redevelopment Agency in partnership with the San Jose State University Research Foundation. Success stories include GreenVolts, ElectraDrive, Optony, Armageddon Energy, and New Power Technologies.

9. Stockholms Miljöteknikcenter, Stockholm, Sweden - The Stockholm cleantech sector, including Uppsala to the north and renowned cleantech related research environment Ångströmslab, has created cleantech jobs for some 25,000 employees estimated. The region is also home to an internationally well known sustainable city area in Hammarby Sjöstad (just to the south of downtown Stockholm) and one emerging in nearby Norra Djurgårdsstaden. Stockholm was chosen as Environmental Capital of the year 2010 by the European Comission, and is home to cleantech investors Sustainable Technologies Fund, Northzone, Pegroco Invest and Stora Enso Ventures, and is also home to the office of Cleantech Scandinavia. Cluster success stories include Vertical Wind, Seabased, Chromogenics Sweden, Climatewell, Scandinavian Biogas.

10. Ontario Clean Water Initiative, Toronto, Ontario - The Ontario Clean Water Initiative is a collaboration of organizations dedicated to developing Ontario as a global center of expertise for safe, clean, affordable and sustainable water and sanitation solutions. Ontario has considerable water related assets, from one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world to a strong regulatory regime, an internationally recognized research community, and an established track record in world class water tech (e.g. ZENON, acquired by GE, and Trojan Technologies). Over 300 local companies are developing wastewater, water treatment and filtration related products and services. The province is home to 230 relevant university and college programs that produced over 8,200 university graduates related to water sciences in 2007. Entrepreneurs have access to R&D tax credits and specialized water investors such as XPV Capital Corporation, Sustainable Development Technology Canada and Emerald Technology Ventures. Successes include Altech Technology Systems, EnviroTower, UV Pure, Green Turtle and Petro Sep Membrane Technologies.


Shawn Lesser is the president and founder of Atlanta-based Sustainable World Capital, which is focused on fund-raising for private equity cleantech/sustainable funds, as well as private cleantech companies.


About the Cleantech Group: Credited with originating the word cleantech, the Cleantech Group also owns the term as a registered trademark. The term cleantech usually refers to investments in technologies and related business models focused on the roots of ecological challenges. Based in San Francisco, the Cleantech Group’s mission is to accelerate the growth of clean technology markets worldwide by functioning as a provider of insight, business opportunities, and relationships. Representing more than $3 trillion in assets, the Cleantech Group’s global member network includes members from the more than 8,000 investors, 6,000 companies, and 3,500 professional services organizations focused on clean technology in diverse sectors. In addition to its network of investors, entrepreneurs, enterprises, and service providers, Cleantech Group also publishes research, data and industry news coverage; produces the Cleantech Forum series of international conferences; and presents the annual Cleantech Awards.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

NYS green building standards moving ahead

New York has joined the growing ranks of state and local governments in the U.S. to require that new state buildings and major renovations of existing structures conform to green building principles.  New York Governor David A. Paterson’s signature on the State Green Building Construction Act means that as of August 27, 2010, construction of new state buildings and overhauls of existing ones must meet new guidelines which are being developed and implemented by the New York State Office of General Services.

Learn more at the U.S. Green Building Council Upstate New York Chapter:   http://www.greenupstateny.org/Get a list of Upstate New York LEED Certified projects at:  http://www.greenupstateny.org/index.php?page=leed-reg-projects
Find a list of Upstate New York green building resources:  http://www.greenupstateny.org/index.php?page=resources

Energy Smart students program funds projects in classrooms across NYS

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is awarding grants to 23 innovative projects that will teach students about global climate change and energy efficient behavior.  The Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Challenge was developed to encourage energy-efficient behavior in school, at home, and in the community. Projects were judged on their creativity and the extent to which they provide students with a leadership role in school and community efforts. Over the past five years, 86 educational projects have been funded. 

The funding was awarded through NYSERDA’s Energy Smart Students Program, which offers free-of-charge workshops to help educators at all levels teach about energy forms and sources, renewable energy, climate change, and the environmental impacts of our energy decisions. Each teacher also receives detailed lesson plans, correlated to the New York State Learning Standards, as well as an assortment of posters and classroom materials. Workshops are held across the state year-round.

To learn more, or to find a complete schedule of energy workshops in your area, visit www.GetEnergySmart.org, call 1-877-NY-SMART (Option 6), or e-mail info@nyess.org.

$4.6 million for developers of innovative renewable energy and energy storage technologies

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will award $4.6 million to help 12 businesses and university centers develop innovative clean energy products that could be manufactured in New York State to improve energy efficiency, cut costs, and reduce greenhouse gas pollution.  The research and development funding will allow these entities to demonstrate and commercialize cutting-edge renewable energy and energy storage technologies and leverage $7.6 million of outside funding.  With this funding announcement, NYSERDA will have allocated more than $12 million over the last year to help 24 companies and institutions research, develop and demonstrate renewable energy and energy storage manufacturing projects.

Funding will support projects in three categories:  New product development ($2.8 million); Early-stage innovative product development feasibility and technology transfer studies ($1.7 million); and Demonstration projects ($135,000).

New Product Development--$2.8 million
  • University at Albany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering:  Development of Nanostructured carbonless electrodes for hydrogen fuel cells.  NYSERDA funding $1 million,  University at Albany funding $1.1 million.
  • Magnolia Solar, Inc. (Albany and Woburn, MA): Development of lower-cost, thin-film solar cells with nanostructure coatings. NYSERDA funding $1 million, Magnolia funding $1.1 million.
  • Reflexite Display Optics (Rochester): Development of a thin-film solar reflector/refractor to reduce costs of solar panels NYSERDA and Reflexite equal funding of $599,563.
  • EnerVault Corporation (Sunnyvale, CA) and Ascension Industries (N. Tonawanda):  Development of a “flow-battery” electrical energy storage system for utility applications, including smoothing intermittent power from alternative sources. NYSERDA funding $300,000, EnerVault funding $347,945.
Early-Stage Innovative Product Development Feasibility and Technology Transfer Studies--$1.7 Million
  • University at Albany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering: Feasibility study of high-volume, low-cost photovoltaic cells. NYSERDA funding $250,000, SUNY Albany funding $301,836.
  • The Paper Battery Company, Inc. (Troy): Feasibility evaluation of super-capacitor and battery prototype.  NYSERDA funding $249,442, Paper Battery funding $363,223.
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy): Development of ceramic matrix composite interconnects for solid oxide fuel cells.  NYSERDA funding $164,542, RPI funding $89,957.
  • Solid Cell, Inc., New York (New York City): Manufacture of modified planar cell for solid oxide fuel cells.  NYSERDA funding $250,000, Solid Cell funding $292,016.
  • Calmar Research Corp, Cato (Cayuga County): Study of wind turbine blade design optimization and turbine-siting improvements.   NYSERDA funding $249,926, Calmar Research funding $285,873.
  • Torrey Pines Research (Fairport): Development of nanoparticles dry processing for fuel cell electrodes.  NYSERDA funding $250,000, Torrey Pines funding $250,000.
  • Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) (Palo Alto, CA): Development of a “Fish Friendly” hydropower turbine development and analysis of New York market and deployment. NYSERDA funding $246,691, EPRI funding $2.8 million
Demonstration Projects $135,168 
  • Locus Energy, LLC (New York City): Demonstration of photovoltaic system monitoring and optimization. NYSERDA funding $135,168, Locus Energy funding $135,168.





Companies funded in 2009 included: 
  • AWS Truewind, LLC (Albany), $433,169
  • Research Foundation of SUNY (Albany), $200,000
  • Mohawk Innovative Technology, Inc. (Albany), $137,861
  • Plug Power, Inc (Latham), $1,440,697
  • Clever Fellows Innovation Consortium, Inc. (Troy), $143,252
  • CMG Tech, LLC (Rexford), $370,276
  • AeroCity, LLC (Claverack),  $1,000,000
  • Reflexite Display Optics (Rochester), $225,000
  • Reflexite Display Optics (Rochester), $$185,200
  • Beacon Power, Corp. (Tyngsboro, MA), $1,500,000
  • Clarkson University (Potsdam), $70,773
  • Schreiberdale Holsteins, LLC (Perry), $586,855
  • Premium Power Corporation (North Redding, MA), $362,000
  • New Energy Solutions, LLC (Las Vegas, NV), $933,810
In total, 70 proposals valued at more than $100 million were considered. Future solicitations with funding for similar proposals will be listed on the NYSERDA website, visit: http://www.nyserda.org/Funding/default.asp 

EPA renewable energy installation in Syracuse cited as ARRA success

One year ago this week, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  In New York State, where EPA’s Recovery Act funding has spurred cleanups of toxic waste sites and leaking petroleum storage tanks, cleaner water, and projects to reduce air pollution from diesel engines, a project in Syracuse was highlighted this week as a success. EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Peter S. Silva visited a drinking water system in Syracuse that will soon be partially powered by wind and hydroelectric energy thanks to Recovery Act funding.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is providing more than $560 million for environmental cleanups and upgrades across New York State.  Recovery Act funding is paying for:
  • nearly $432 million in wastewater improvements;
  • about $87 million for drinking water projects;
  • well over $15 million in clean diesel projects;
  • almost $15 million for Superfund cleanups;
  • more than $9 million to address leaking underground storage tanks;
  • $2.5 million for brownfields assessments and cleanups.
More than $40 million of the wastewater and drinking water funds were dedicated to projects that derive power from clean renewable sources like wind, solar and hydropower and improve energy efficiency. The New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) , a public benefit corporation, oversees the distribution and implementation of the state’s wastewater and drinking water funding.

Assistant Administrator Silva, EPA Deputy Regional Administrator George Pavlou and EFC President and CEO Matthew J. Driscoll visited the Westcott Reservoir in Syracuse, which received two Recovery Act grants to install solar and hydroelectric systems as a way to offset the reservoir’s demand for energy. The City of Syracuse is installing a solar power system at the reservoir that will provide some 56,000 kilowatt hours of renewable power per year to help power the city's drinking water system. Recovery Act funding in the amount of $487,273 is paying for most of the $536,000 project. The city is also constructing a 50 kilowatt microturbine hydropower system at the Westcott Reservoir, which will generate approximately 450,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year to help offset the energy demands of the water system. The project will cost $350,000, with $315,000 coming from the Recovery Act.

For more information on the Westcott Reservoir project and other Recovery Act wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects in New York, visit http://www.nysefc.org/home/index.asp?page=590.

For more about EPA's implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, visit http://www.epa.gov/recovery/, and for information on the implementation in New York, visit http://www.epa.gov/region02/eparecovery/.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Environmental Finance Center at Syracuse University selected to provide technical assistance to new Sustainable Communities program

The Environmental Finance Center at Syracuse University (EFC-SU) will be providing technical assistance to New York State’s Environmental Facilities Corporation for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Pilot Technical Assistance Program. The program is part of the recently formed HUD-DOT-EPA Sustainable Communities Partnership. New York is one of three states chosen by the EPA to participate in this pilot project. The EPA announced the pilot program participants at the New Partnership for Livable Communities Conference earlier this month in Seattle.

New York State's unique relationship with the EFC-SU presents an ideal opportunity for cooperation and partnership in achieving common goals. The EFC-SU, an affiliated center of the Syracuse Center of Excellence, will work with the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation (NYSEFC), which is able to provide incentives to encourage funding towards more sustainable water and wastewater infrastructure investments. These incentives include adjustments to project priority-setting systems, voluntary state set-asides, and strategic use of subsidies.

The pilot program will provide technical assistance to New York, California and Maryland to modify their existing Clean Water SRF programs to ensure their state water infrastructure investments are used to promote more sustainable investments.

NYS utility customers encouraged to apply for new incentives

The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) announced that its recently finalized series of energy efficient programs will directly lead to more than $1.4 billion in energy-saving investments over the next five years. The programs are designed to entice homeowners, business owners, commercial building owners and manufacturers to make energy efficiency investments, such as purchasing energy efficient furnaces and energy efficient hot water heaters, and install energy efficient lighting systems. More than $950 million is being made available through 2011 and beyond to accomplish the goal.

As a result of Commission actions, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), as well as the major investor-owned utilities in New York, will provide direct incentives to homeowners and businesses to make energy efficiency improvements. Because most of the programs will require at least a partial customer financial contribution, it's estimated that matching private sector investments over the life of the program will be more than $475 million.

The overall goal of the program is to reduce New Yorkers' electricity usage by 2015, with comparable results in natural gas conservation. In addition to helping lower monthly energy bills, the ratepayer-funded initiative is expected to save enough energy to electrically power about 600,000 average-sized homes annually and enough natural gas to heat about 60,000 average-sized homes annually by 2015.

The funding being made available over a five-year period to electric and gas customers is substantial. NYSERDA will receive the largest share - $441 million through 2011 - to fund customer incentives related to its commercial and residential electric and natural gas energy efficiency programs.

To ensure the greatest customer participation possible, major electric and gas utilities will also offer customer incentives. Utility funding is as follows: Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., $235.8 million; National Grid (upstate), $147.7 million; National Grid (downstate), $39.9 million; New York State Electric and Gas Corporation, $31.7 million; Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation, $20.1 million; Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, $19.6 million; Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc., $14.3 million; Corning Natural Gas Corporation, $0.2 million; and St. Lawrence Gas Company, Inc., $0.08 million. For more information about energy efficiency programs, please go to www.askpsc.com.

The program, officially known as the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard, has been under development since 2007. Its broad and comprehensive success is due to the concerted efforts of more than 200 organizations and individuals who participated in the proceeding as active parties. The initiative is designed to forestall an expected rise in energy consumption and the related need for additional infrastructure investment. This increase, combined with expected fuel price increases and supply uncertainty, and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, made it necessary to create energy efficiency programs and quickly find ways to reduce energy use.

In addition to these efficiency programs, a review of the state's 14-year-old System Benefits Charge (SBC), which provides funding for energy programs targeting efficiency measures, research and development and the low-income sector, is also expected. The current SBC program, which expires June 30, 2011, is currently funded at about $175 million a year. The SBC program has been primarily administered by NYSERDA.

Nearly $21 million approved for solar, anaerobic digesters, fuel cells and small wind projects

The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) has approved approximately $20.9 million in interim funding for the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program for the period January 1, 2010 through June 30, 2010. The money will fund incentives for solar photovoltaic (solar PV), anaerobic digester, fuel cell and small wind installations under the Customer-Sited Tier (CST) of the RPS program.
In addition to approving the interim funding, the Commission re-authorized the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to solicit new applications for RPS funding, to be allocated as follows: $12 million for solar PV; $6 million for anaerobic digester biogas systems; $1.8 million for fuel cells; $0.3 million for small wind installations; and $0.83 million for program administration, evaluation, measurement and verification.

The Commission noted that the solar PV program poses some unique challenges which need to be addressed as part of any additional commitment for funding. As a result, the Commission will impose conditions on the administration of the solar PV program to include a monthly spending amount of $2 million through June 2010, wherein, no new applications may be accepted in a month when the applications for that month already equal or exceed the available funds. The per-watt incentive for solar PV project will vary monthly as further prescribed by the Commission. The incentive may not exceed $1.75 per watt per month, unless the incentive is too low to attract sufficient applications.

As part of the mid-course review of the RPS program, the Commission in December expanded the RPS goal to increase the proportion of renewable generation to 30 percent of projected electricity consumption by 2015, authorized a renewable resource solicitation of approximately $200 million, provided new funding up to $30 million annually for larger-scale downstate solar PV, anaerobic digester and fuel cell projects to assure a level of geographic balance in the RPS program.

Clean energy CHP and fuel cell technologies now eligible for net metering in NYS

The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) has approved tariff filings of the six investor-owned utilities in New York to encourage the installation of residential micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) and fuel cell electric generating systems that will enable homeowners to sell excess power to the utility.

"By encouraging homeowners to install small-scale renewable energy systems, and to allow the excess power to be sold to the utility, will provide long-term benefits to the environment and the economy," said Commission Chairman Garry Brown. "As a result of our decision today, a homeowner can install these newest technologies and receive a credit from the utility for the excess electricity that's been created, or sell it to the utility and pocket the money - the choice is theirs."

The utilities participating in this net metering initiative include Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas Corporation, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc., and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation. With the Commission's decision, the tariffs that the utilities have filed will be updated to add to the list of eligible technologies than can be net metered.

To further encourage development of net metering opportunities, the Standardized Interconnection Requirements (SIR) for distributed generation units operating in parallel with the electric utility distribution system that both utilities and customers are required to follow was revised to incorporate the net metering modifications for micro-CHP and fuel cell systems.

Under Public Service Law, a residential applicant proposing to install a micro-CHP or a fuel cell electric generating system may not exceed 10 kilowatts, and the installation must be located and used at the applicant's premises. Eligible micro-CHPs are an integrated, co-generating building heating and electrical power generation system, operating on any fuel and of any applicable engine, fuel cell, or other technology, with a rated capacity of at least one kilowatt and not more than 10 kilowatts electric and any thermal output that at full load has a design total fuel use efficiency in the production of heat and electricity of not less than 80 percent, and annually produces at least 2,000 kilowatt hours of useful energy in the form of electricity that may work in combination with supplemental or parallel conventional heating systems.

Eligible fuel cell electric generating equipment are solid oxide, molten carbonate, proton exchange membrane or phosphoric acid fuel cells with a combined rated capacity of not more than 10 kilowatts that is manufactured, installed and operated in accordance with applicable government and industry standards, that is connected to the electric system and operated in parallel with an electric corporation's transmission and distribution facilities.

PSC approves up to $35 million in financing to build biomass plant at Griffiss

New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) has approved up to $35 million in financing to build a 9.6 MW renewable-fueled electric and steam generation facility at Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome, Oneida County, to provide lower priced electric and steam service to tenants in the industrial park. The power plant operator, Griffiss Utility Services Corporation, plans to install a biomass-fueled combined heat and power generation facility at the Griffiss Park. The facility is sized to meet electric and steam needs at the Griffiss Park, where it will supply approximately 75 percent of the Park's electric demand and will replace the existing steam boilers, supplanting them as the source for meeting all steam load requirements. The power plant operator will remain interconnected to National Grid to obtain the remaining 25 percent of its electric needs.

Griffiss Utility is a not-for-profit corporation formed in 2000 for the purpose of assisting Griffiss Local Development Corporation (GLDC), the operator of the Griffiss Park, in fulfilling its purpose of promoting economic development in the Rome, New York region.

Griffiss Park, a 3,500-acre complex containing approximately 80 buildings and 29 miles of road, formerly operated as a United States Air Force Base. The closure of most of the base beginning in 1995 adversely affected the local economy in the Rome region. GLDC was created to operate the Griffiss Park at the base in an effort to promote economic activity that would reverse the adverse effects of the closure.

"Great Green Ideas" and young innovators

Applications are still open for "Great Green Ideas That Can Change the World," the largest green science fair in NYS, March 25 at the Center of Progress Building at the NYS Fairgrounds.  SUNY ESF, the Syracuse Chamber, The Clean Tech Center, The Tech Garden, the MDA and Creative Core partners are sponsoring the event, designed to encourage green entrepreneurship.  High school and college students from across  Upstate New York will be vying for cash prizes for ideas based on sustainability and green technology.  They will be part of a Green Innovation Exposition that is expected to draw more than 7,000.  Joining them will be more than 300 businesses who will be taking part in the business expo.

For more information, and to register:  www.esf.edu/outreach/sage, call ESF Outreach:  315-470-6817, or e-mail: mhstefl@esf.edu


SUNY ESF's SAGE (Sustainability and Green Entrepreneurship) project exposes high school students and teachers to people and ideas that demonstrate the green entrepreneurial spirit. Participants become better versed in the science of environmental challenges, entrepreneurial thinking, and the role they can play in meeting these challenges. Environmental innovation is not only a social consciousness issue but an economic one. New advances and innovations can lead to new jobs and business enterprises.

A national study (Battelle Memorial Institute) reported that the Syracuse/Central New York area is seen as a national leader in several sectors of green technology and innovation. The SAGE Project builds upon the region's natural, economic, educational and workforce resources to support the sustainability and green entrepreneurship education and professional development needs of students, teachers, and professionals.

Colleges team up to host business plan competition focusing on renewable energy and sustainable innovations


The College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering (CNSE) at the University at Albany, UAlbany's School of Business, the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer, and Union Graduate College School of Management plan are hosting a business plan competition focusing on renewable energy and sustainable innovations on April 28, 2010.  Current students from accredited colleges are invited to submit a business plan around a student-born innovation focused on an unmet energy technology need. The top applications will be selected to present at CNSE in the final round. The three best rated teams will earn a prize, with the first place winner receiving $10,000.

The competition will encourage students to fully engage in their research and allow them to gain valuable experience through presenting their business plan to industry executives and investors. By creating multi-disciplinary teams, students from different departments within a college or university can take advantage of this unique experience.  For more information:  http://www.neny.org/competition/2010/home

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SUNY Green SNY partners to share $2 million to offer training in clean energy

A consortium composed of Alfred State College, six community colleges, and the Association of Builders and Contractors, are sharing in a $2 million grant from NYSERDA to develop or expand training in solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind and geothermal energy technology.  Community college partners include Tompkins Cortland (TC3), Broome, Dutchess, Mohawk Valley, Sullivan and Westchester.  The consortium's goal is The courses are designed for those seeking certification from NYSERDA to become installers.  The SUNY Green SNY partners will work together to train in areas such as design, construction, installation, instrumentation and maintenance.  Partners will develop modules for credit courses that can be integrated into existing programs, which can be used as the foundation for stand-alone courses for professional development, and certification programming as continuing education.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

NASA grant enables Clarkson University and NYSERDA to improve climate change education in NYS

Clarkson University recently received a grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to improve climate change education for middle and high school students in New York State. Only 15 of 161 proposals submitted were selected nationwide. Clarkson will be working closely with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to develop and disseminate educational modules that utilize NASA’s vast array of data chronicling the changes in climate and earth system functions.

“We are proud to partner with Clarkson and NASA on a project that will help students learn about the implications climate change could have on their future and the steps they can take to mitigate these impacts,” said Francis J. Murray, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “This award adds to NYSERDA’s ongoing work to support teachers statewide seeking to learn new ways to educate students about the critical energy challenges facing New York and the world.”

This summer at Clarkson, earth and environmental science teachers will develop project-based, climate change units for middle and high school classrooms using NASA geospatial data. Following the trial of these lessons in classrooms around the state, a summer institute will be held at Clarkson University in 2011 to train more teachers. The resulting learning experiences will be disseminated through teacher workshops and conferences hosted by NYSERDA’s Energy Smart Students Program.

For more information: www.clarkson.edu

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

NYS retailers gear up for "Great Appliance Swap Out" starting February 12

Retailers across New York State are gearing up to handle high demand for energy efficient appliances as New York’s "Great Appliance Swap Ou" launches this week, according to NYSERDA. The program, from February 12 through 21, is expected to issue nearly 170,000 rebates totaling $16.8 million to New York State residents who purchase qualified ENERGY STAR appliances during that time period. 

Rebates for high-efficiency refrigerators, clothes washers, and freezers will range from $50-$105 for a single unit and up to $555 for the purchase of a three-appliance package of high-efficiency refrigerators, clothes washers, and dishwashers, provided on a first-come, first served basis. 

The program requires consumers to replace old appliances, and encourages recycling by offering a larger rebate to consumers who recycle their discarded appliances. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is administering the program.

Guidelines for the program:
  • Residents only.  Consumers must be New York State residents and the appliance must be installed at a New York State residential address to be eligible for the proposed rebate program.
  • Energy Efficiency Requirements.  Appliances can be purchased at any retail location and must meet specified ENERGY STAR or Consortium of Energy Efficiency (CEE) standards.
  • Qualifications.  The program is open only to residents of single-family homes and to residents of multi-family buildings who own the existing appliance that is being replaced.
  • Process.  After purchasing a qualified appliance, consumers must complete an application form to reserve their rebate.  Customers will print their completed form with rebate reservation number and return it with required documentation; those who fill out forms by phone will have an application mailed to them.  Before purchasing, consumers can check to see if funding is still available at www.NYapplianceSwapout.com or by calling  1-877- NY-SMART (877-697-6278). 
  • Finding an application.  Applications may be completed online at www.NYApplianceSwapOut.com or by calling toll-free at 1-877-NY-SMART.  Once the application is verified as complete, it will be processed and payment will be issued.
  • Documentation.  Consumers must submit all required documentation with their completed rebate application by March 15, 2010.  For rebates:  Consumers must attest in writing that the purchased appliances are replacing existing appliances.  For recycling bonus:  Documentation must be obtained from the retailer or recycler.  In NYC, a confirmation number obtained through 311 may be used for refrigerator and freezer recycling documentation. 
  • Restrictions.  The rebate cannot be combined with other appliance rebate programs from utilities or municipalities. The rebate can, however, be combined with other manufacturer rebates or retail promotions.
  • Recycling. Many appliance retail stores will offer to pick up and recycle your old appliance when you purchase a new one from them. In addition, a list of many local recycling centers and transfer stations that will recycle can be found at:  www.NYapplianceSwapout.com.  
Appliances may be purchased at any location.  NYSERDA works with more than 1,000 of retail partners to help promote the sale of ENERGY STAR Products.   Click here for a list of NYSERDA retail partners Upstate.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Syracuse Center of Excellence to open new headquarters

The Syracuse Center of Excellence will be dedicated March 5, a little more than four years after site work began at the former Midtown Plaza, Almond and East Water streets.


On March 6, the public is invited to an open house to check out the latest in energy and building technologies in the five-story, angular structure clad in glass and metal and topped by a vegetative roof. There will be tours, technology demonstrations and entertainment.

The Center of Excellence is a federation of businesses and academic institutions led by Syracuse University to promote “clean and green” economic development. Its headquarters building, designed by architect Toshiko Mori, includes a geothermal heating and cooling system, a rainwater collection system and windows that can be opened if the air quality is deemed sufficiently good.

The $35.6 million building aims for a “platinum” rating under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program administered by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Researchers will rotate into lab space. In the Carrier Total Indoor Environmental Quality lab, or TIEQ, on the fifth floor, factors such as temperature, humidity and air quality can be manipulated in each workstation to measure their effect on human productivity and behavior.

The open house runs from 1 to 4 p.m. March 6. For details on the event and to RSVP, go to syracusecoe.org.

Source:  www.syracuse.com/green

Sunday, February 7, 2010

USDA/Rural Development hosts New York State strategy session on rural economy and renewable energy

The New York State office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development convened ag and business leaders from across Upstate this past week for a strategy session at Hope Lodge at Greek Peak (a USDA-financed project ... see related stories on this blog)  on ways to stimulate the rural economy.  The workshop addressed issues related to access to capital and risk in the current economic climate, and also outlined areas of opportunity -- especially related to renewable energy. 

One particular program that has been of great benefit is the USDA's Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides grants and loan guarantees to farms and rural small busineses for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvements, feasibility studies and energy audits.  The program requires matching funds, and grants are limited to 25 percent of a project's costs.  Loan guarantees can cover up to 75 percent of the project's costs. 

Last year, New York fared well in the competitive program, with grants going to Upstate projects that ranged from solar photovoltaic systems and wind turbines, to innovative aerobic composting systems and energy efficient grain-drying projects.

Further information about USDA Rural Development renewable energy programs, and a list of NYS recipients, is available at :  www.rurdev.usda.gov/ny

New York Biomass Energy Alliance launches


The New York Biomass Energy Alliance has launched.  www.newyorkbiomass.org is a coalition of individuals, businesses, and organizations working together to advance sustainably produced and harvested biomass as a source of renewable energy in the state and the region. The Alliance works to foster biomass energy solutions and includes biomass producers, harvesting and logistics companies, research institutions, and fuel and energy production enterprises.  Sign up for regular updates and NYS biomass industry news at its new website. 

Among the news the group is currently tracking:  The Obama administration last week released final reg's on the revised federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), along with a new report entitled, "Growing America's Fuel" which maps out the administration's biofuels strategy. 

Earthsense releases new report: "Clean Technology Can Empower Us, But Do Consumers Care?"

Syracuse based Earthsense, an applied market research company known for producing Eco-Insights, the largest and most comprehensive survey of consumer attitudes toward green products and services, asked a provocative question this month about clean tech.  "75% of Americans don't have renewable energy on their radar screens.  But if we build it, will they come?"

The answer is:  That depends.  When asked if they had considered buying renewable energy, 42% of Americans said they didn't consider it important, 17% said they evaluated it, but didn't buy it, and another 16% cited economics for declining.  Less than 5% of adults say they have purchased renewable energy in some form, but even those worry about the cost of purchasing expensive systems such as wind or solar arrays without easy-to-understand and simple-to-use incentives.  One promising concept reported in the survey was the use of RECS.  Nearly 32% of American adults said they would be willing to pay a $5 premium per month to purchase energy through renewable sources.  If the government contributed a tax credit or other incentive, that number would jump to nearly 50%.  Higher income households are twice as likely to purchase more RECS, with tax incentives provided. 

Earthsense noted that women are more likely than men to pay a premium for renewables -- a finding that is consistent with earlier Eco-Insights studies that noted that women are more inclined to seek out ways to integrate sustainability into their lifestyle. 

Earthsense presented its most recent findings at The State of Green Business 2010 global conference in San Francisco last week, which was sponsored by Greenbiz.com

Learn more at www.earthsense.com  and www.greenbiz.com

Proposal to raise SBA Express cap to $1 million would provide boost for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs got a boost this week with a proposal by President Obama to temporarily increase the cap on SBA Express loans from $350,000 to $1 million, which would expand the program’s ability to help a broad range of small businesses through a streamlined approval process. Unlike traditional 7(a) SBA loans, lenders can use their own paperwork for SBA Express loans, which can be structured as revolving lines of credit. Currently, these Express loans are capped at $350,000 and carry a 50 percent guarantee. 

Other elements of the small business agenda proposed this week include: 
  • Extending small business expensing and bonus depreciation for 2010
  • Eliminating capital gains taxes for small businesses in 2010
  • A Small Business Jobs and Wages Tax Credit that would cut taxes for more than 1 million small businesses by paying up to $5,000 for every net new job and covers payroll taxes on overall wage increases in excess of inflation
  • A proposal to transfer, through legislation, $30 billion to a new Small Business Lending Fund that will support lending by community and smaller banks
  • Additional SBA lending proposals, including an extension of the Recovery Act programs that eliminate fees and raise guarantees on SBA’s two largest loan programs and permanent increases in the maximum loan sizes for major SBA programs
 For more information:  http://www.sba.gov/idc/groups/public/documents/sba_homepage/sba_rcvry_factsheet_cre_refi.pdf

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Plug Power hits milestones

Upstate New York based Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq:PLUG), a leader in providing clean, reliable energy solutions just released a report noting progress toward milestones.  According to the report, Plug Power successfully implemented its GenDrive™ fuel cell power units into material handling applications during 2009. Plug Power’s GenDrive solution offers customers an environmentally-conscious alternative to lead-acid batteries as a power source for electric lift trucks, allowing for increased productivity and lowered lifetime operational costs of the operation.

The report also noted that Plug Power also saw success in India during 2009, selling 200 prime power GenSys® units to Wireless TT Info Services Limited (WTTIL), the tower arm of Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL). Additionally, Plug Power and SFO Technologies signed a five-year manufacturing and supply agreement for the build of Plug Power’s GenSys systems in India.

“Plug Power saw strong market traction in both the material handling and remote prime power markets during 2009. Businesses implemented our solutions to benefit their operations and allow for sustainability targets to be met,” said Plug Power’s CEO, Andy Marsh. “Plug Power remains focused on completing current negotiations with customers. At the same time, we expect to see sales momentum continue to build in 2010 as the value proposition of our GenDrive and GenSys products become more evident in their market spaces.”

About Plug Power Inc.
Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq:PLUG), an established leader in the development and deployment of clean, reliable energy solutions, integrates fuel cell technology into motive and continuous power products. The Company is actively engaged with private and public customers in targeted markets throughout the world. For more information:  please visit www.plugpower.com

Tech Garden president launches new venture

Nasir Ali who has led the Syracuse-based Tech Garden announced today that he will be teaming up with Martin Babinec, founder and board member of San Leandro, CA based TriNet HR Corporation, to launch a new venture called Upstate Venture Connect www.upstateventureconnect.org based at The Tech Garden.  (See related story about Upstate Venture Connect on this new blog.)

“My time in Upstate New York has convinced me of the potential this region has for regaining its central place in the national and global economy. A critical factor for our future success is having a mechanism that connects Upstate’s innovation assets and entrepreneurial drive to individuals and institutions that are willing to accelerate their success,” said Ali, who moved to this region from the Washington, DC area five years ago. “The opportunity to work with Martin on unlocking Upstate’s potential is one I could not pass up,” he added. Upstate Venture Connect will be based at the Syracuse Technology Garden incubator. Ali will continue to lead the Seed Capital Fund of Central New York, a private investment fund he launched in 2007 (www.scfcny.com).

Martin Babinec moved his family back to his hometown of Little Falls, NY ten years ago from the San Francisco Bay Area. Babinec founded TriNet in 1988, and until recently commuted regularly from Little Falls to Silicon Valley. He stepped down from his position as CEO in May 2008 and recently relinquished his responsibilities as chairman of TriNet to focus his efforts on creating Upstate Venture Connect. “Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to get to know world class entrepreneurs across Upstate and many of the talented individuals who are working hard to help them succeed. There are thousands of successful people outside the region with the capacity and the desire to help Upstate entrepreneurs. Making those connections happen is the central focus of Upstate Venture Connect.”

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Clean Energy Week: NYS and clean energy business development














It's Clean Energy Week, and if there is a state that is a clean energy leader, it would have to be NYS.  With one of the most aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standards in the country, and a strategic clean energy business development focus, New York is a global clean tech leader.  From start-up to commercialization, to growth, NYSERDA provides a continuum of services to support clean energy business development.  A recently published brochure highlights support programs.  Learn more at: 
www.nyserda.org/businessdevelopment  and download the brochure at:  http://www.powernaturally.org/publications/CleanEnergyBrochfinal.pdf

This is "Clean Energy Week"

Nearly 100 organizations in the renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmental arenas are joining forces to turn February 1-5, 2010, into Clean Energy Week.  The week is focused on the national imperative to enact comprehensive clean energy policy – including climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency programs – as a means of creating new jobs, ensuring U.S. global leadership in the emerging clean energy era, enhancing security and preserving our planet for the generations to follow.  The groups are supporting legislation recently adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), which could create up to 1.9 million jobs between its enactment and 2020. Details on Clean Energy Week are on the CEW website at www.cleanenergyweek.org.

In conjunction with the week, The New York Solar Energy Society is hosting a February 4 summit at the Cooper Union in NYC: "Policy to Make New York a Clean Energy Capital"  -- Read more about that event at:  www.nyses.org 

NYS Solar Energy Industries Association proposes plan for solar electric incentives


New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) this week proposed a long-term solar electric incentive plan to help New York achieve its clean energy goals at the lowest cost to utility ratepayers.  NYSEIA is advocating an expansion of the current state plan funded through the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the group is continuing to endorse a Solar PV roadmap developed by its stakeholders in 2006 that called for 2000MW of solar electric generation in the state over a 10 year period. 
 
Among the recommendations in NYSEIA's platform:
  • New programs should complement existing programs funded through the RPS, be performance based and designed to continue past the scheduled expiration of the RPS.
  • Municipalities and not for profits should benefit from an incentive structure that places them on equal footing with the private sector.
  • Utilities should be allowed to own “green attributes” or Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECS),  for the solar power they buy.
  • Legislation should be created to result in feed-in tariffs (FiT), government policies that require utilities to purchase electricity produced by renewable generators, for a guaranteed 20 years with “must sell”/”must take” provisions for generators and utilities, respectively. 
  • The Customer-Sited Tier (CST) funding in the RPS should be expanded to a fixed value of $50 million for each of the remaining years in the RPS and a funding mechanism should be developed for after it ends.
 The New York Solar Energy Industries Association is the only statewide non-profit membership and trade association dedicated solely to advancing solar energy use in New York State. For information, visit http://www.nyseia.org
 
Read a press release with all the recommendations:  http://nyseia.org/posts/nyseia-proposes-long-term-solar-electric-incentive-plan-18.ph

G.E. tops list of world's most sustainable large corporations

G.E. led 100 of the world’s most sustainable large corporations based on productivity in energy, carbon, water and waste, based on an annual global ranking released this week by Canadian magazine Corporate Knights.  G.E. Global Research is based in Upstate NY.  (See related story below about new global R&D headquarter building which opened this week in Schnectady, NY)  The company topped the list which includes companies from 24 countries with a combined value of $4 trillion and three million employees.  Companies were chosen based on key performance indicators that measured productivity in the areas of energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, water use, waste disposal and sustainability leadership.

G.E. to house its renewable energy businesses in new $45 million headquarters in Upstate NY


G.E. this week unveiled its new $45 million renewable energy global headquarters in Schenectady, NY.  The new HQ building, which opened yesterday, will meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, and will also exceed New York’s building standards on energy efficiency by 20 percent.

Among the amenities are enhanced energy management and conservation features, energy efficient hot water boilers and HVAC system, water conservation fixtures, bike racks and preferred parking for hybrid vehicles.  A 48-kilowatt G.E. solar energy system installed nearby helps power the building. A four-story atrium houses a scale model wind turbine and interactive displays that feature G.E.’s renewable energy technologies.  A state-of-the-art remote operations center will provide continuous monitoring and diagnostic services for an installed base of wind turbines and solar power electronics. 


The establishment of G.E.'s Renewable Energy Global Headquarters also spurred the creation of more than 650 new jobs in Schenectady, 150 more than originally anticipated and a year ahead of schedule. 

“The dedication of our new, state-of-the-art global headquarters represents our ongoing mission to provide renewable energy solutions that will help meet both the world’s energy and environmental needs,” said Victor Abate, vice president, renewable energy for G.E. Power & Water.

The event on Monday also marked the installation of the company’s 13,500th wind turbine globally. G.E. is the largest supplier of wind turbines in North America, with its 1.5-megawatt turbine the most widely used in the world. With this latest installation, the company’s global installed fleet now generates enough renewable energy to power nearly 6 million homes. G.E. Energy is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies, reported revenues of $37 billion in 2009.
Source:  Press reports

Reserve now for the largest green business expo in the Northeast

300 companies ... more than 7,500 attendees ... reserve your space now for the largest green business expo in the Northeast

The Syracuse Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications to be part of the most exciting green expo in the Northeast, to be held at the NYS Fairgrounds on March 25, 2010.  It's a tremendous opportunity to gain visibility in the dynamic green and sustainable sector, and make B-to-B connections.  Reservations are open only for the first 300 companies, so reserve early for the best placement.

The targeted audience includes business owners and managers, influential decision-makers, buyers and potential strategic partners.  Connect with other green companies,  learn more about green and clean technologies, reach new customers, and build new business relationships.  It's an opportunity to get in front of a big audience in a region that is blossoming with new green products and services.  Learn more at:  www.syracusechambershow.com

Reserve your booth now:  http://www.syracusechambershow.com/Register.tab.aspx

Great green ideas that can change the world: A student innovation exposition

SUNY ESF's Sustainability and Green Entrepreneurship (SAGE) program, The Clean Tech Center and New York's Creative Core are hosting the first ever high school and college green science fair on March 25 at the New York State Fairgrounds.  Aspiring young green entrepreneurs from across Upstate are invited to pitch their great green ideas at an "innovation exposition" that is part of the annual Syracuse Chamber of Commerce Business Show and Green Expo.  Prizes will be awarded for "best peer reviewed business concept" and "best in show" as judged by a panel of experts.  For more information and to register:  www.esf.edu/outreach/sage or e-mail to learn more.

"A Different Shade of Green" is new green jobs program for veterans

A new program by Cornell University Cooperative Extension, NYS Department of Labor, CNY Works and Onondaga Community College kicks off this month, designed to provide green job training and career development for military veterans and their spouses, and empowering them to lead New York's transition to energy independence.  The program, called "A Different Shade of Green," includes a ten-week training sessions, followed by field training programs.  Participants will receive basic training in areas such as environmental technology, renewable energy and other green sectors.  The first sessions start this week, with new sessions scheduled to start throughout 2010.  For more information:  Cornell Cooperative Extension - green jobs.

eCUSE launches this month

eCUSE -- The Environmental Collaborative for Urban Sustainable Employment -- launches this month, supported by a $3.7 million US Department of Labor grant.  The project, which builds on the efforts of two collaborative groups, Journey to Jobs and Greater Syracuse Works, is one of a small select group to be funded nationally.  It will build on the capacity of a coalition of partner organizations committed to increasing employment options in green technology for targeted workers living in the Syracuse urban center.  In addition, the initiative will develop a pipeline of talent for Syracuse's burgeoning green industries. The goal of the program is to serve 1,000 prospective workers through interdisciplinary teams, working in partnership with neighborhood organizations.  More information on the eCUSE Initiative is available at:  CNY Works.

Monday, February 1, 2010

NYS has new economic development website

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the launch of its new website, www.esd.ny.gov, reorganized to streamline access to information to better serve NYS businesses.  This is the first major redesign of the site in several years.  The stylish new site features:
  • An “About Us” section featuring historical, corporate, and senior staff information.
  • A “Why New York” section featuring up-to-date information on the hightech
  • economy and the State’s industry clusters.
  • A comprehensive “Business Programs” section listing information on ESD’s incentive,
  • grant and loan programs.
  • Updated International, Minority & Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE)and Small Business sections.
  • New regional office pages which include geospecific resources and information.
  • A more indepth “Press Center” section for a full list of ESD press releases and
  • information on ESD’s speaker bureau, as well as access to social media tools.

Connecting entrepreneurs with resources needed to grow the clean energy economy

Green resources are one click away ...

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today recognized The Clean Tech Center for its publication of the first comprehensive directory connecting clean technology companies with resources in Upstate New York. The guide lists numerous entities working collaboratively to help develop, grow, and retain clean tech companies, including university and academic research programs, specialized facilities, support organizations, and funding programs.

“While Upstate New York has been emerging as a vibrant hub of clean energy businesses, until now there has been no full accounting of all the resources available in this growing field,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “This guide will serve as an essential tool to help connect the extraordinary wealth of talent in Central New York with investors and support systems to help them build the clean energy economy envisioned by Governor David Paterson.”

“Entrepreneurs in Central Upstate New York are fortunate to be able to work shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the world’s top experts in renewable and clean energy sectors, right here in this region,” said Linda Hartsock, Executive Director of The Clean Tech Center. “The resource guide demonstrates that this region has built a well-connected infrastructure and working partnership to support green innovation. NYSERDA is the catalyst for building an innovation ecosystem across New York State, connecting clusters of entrepreneurial activity through its new clean energy incubator program. NYSERDA is truly the model for strategic green business development.”

Created with support from NYSERDA, the 61-page Clean Tech Asset Guide is a ‘one-stop’ directory with listings of assets including research and development resources, business development resources, funding programs, and market leaders, including associations and organizations.

Collaborators with The Clean Tech Center include leading New York State colleges and universities, investors, utilities, technology and industry associations, and government agencies that are included in the resource guide.

The guide is available as a link on The Clean Tech Center's main page:  www.thecleantechcenter.com
Visit NYSERDA at:  www.nyserda.org