Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Friday, May 28, 2010

NYSERDA seeks green career training proposals

Now open -- PON 1817:  Energy Efficiency Career Pathways Training and Technical Training

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is seeking proposals to meet New York State workforce training needs. Funding is available to facilitate workforce education within New York State in the area of energy efficiency. Proposers may develop and implement training initiatives as part of a career pathway (i.e., basic skills, technical skills, advanced skills), continuing education opportunity, college credit course, certificate program, two-year degree program, etc.

For more information on the training please visit:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Solid Biofuel Combustion: The efficiency and emissions debate

A symposium on biofuels combustion efficiency and emissions will be a featured topic at the upcoming Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society to be held at SUNY Potsdam on June 3, at 1 p.m.  Given the recent local interest in proposed DEC rules on wood boilers and the likelihood that EPA will enact similar rules soon, the topic is gaining the attention of municipal planners, as well as the development and environmental community.

Philip K. Hopke, Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor and the director of the Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science at Clarkson University, and Ellen Burkhard, senior project manager at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), are the session organizers.

For registration information, please see

While there is an increasing interest in the combustion of solid biofuels (i.e., wood pellets, wood chips, crop pellets) to mitigate global warming and reduce costs relative to fossil fuels, conventional outdoor wood boilers can waste more than half the energy of wood fuel and emit significant amounts of pollutants. Advanced wood-boiler units can achieve thermal efficiencies greater than 80 percent and produce less than five percent of the particulate emissions of inefficient wood boilers typically used in the U.S.

These advanced systems are commonly called staged-combustion or gasification boilers. There are state-of-the-art combustion systems that provide high thermal efficiency and greatly reduced emissions, but they have not yet been widely used or characterized for their performance in the United States. To respond for the interest in these systems, studies have been initiated across the northeastern states to characterize existing boilers as well as the newer designed high-efficiency systems.

This symposium will bring together researchers who are currently involved in the study of wood combustion systems and their impacts on emissions. The results of studies on both conventional and advanced boiler systems will be presented and provide the opportunity for researchers in this field to share results with each other.

MicroGen at Sensors Expo

  • MicroGen will be heading to the Sensors Expo in Chicago in June 2010 as a hot new technology in "MEMS Lane."  The company has been gaining global recognition for its technology, which is the world's first commercially available low-cost, small size, long lifetime MEMS-based Piezoelectric Vibrational Energy Harvester (PZEH).  The BOLT(tm) family of micro-rechargers will be available at frequencies 50/60 and 100/120 Hz with power outputs of at least 100 uWatts at 0.1g acceleration, and as high as 1.0 mWatt at 1.0g. These devices can be integrated in multiple power-storage (ultra-cap or advanced thin-film battery) demo-boards, and wireless sensor network (WSN) demo-kits available on the market today. Alpha-product is set to be released in fall 2010. 
A "self-charging battery" is formed when MicroGen's micro-rechargers are integrated with EH boards with voltage regulating electronics and power storage (advanced thin-film batteries and/or ultra-capacitors) available from MicroGen's commercial partners.  The finished size is as small as a conventional AA battery.
    MicroGen President and CTO Robert Andosca will also be a featured speaker this summer at the prestigious SEMICON West 2010, in San Francisco in July.

    Find more info about MicroGen at Sensor Expo 2010 here.
    Sensors Expo 2010

    MicroGen, located at the Cornell Business and Technology Park, is a Clean Tech Center - NYSERDA program portfolio company.

    Building the NYS Innovation Ecosystem

     Entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policy makers and economic experts are gathering Friday June 18 in the Finger Lakes to advance the challenges and opportunities associated with " Building an Innovation Ecosystem in New York State"   

    This Conference is the first statewide meeting to consider the NYS Industry-Higher Education Innovation Task Force Report, a report that outlines strategies to create convergence between research, innovation and economic growth in New York. The goals of the conference are threefold: first, to review the Task Force Report’s major findings; second, to consider current and future efforts to implement the Task Force Report’s recommendations; and third, to explore alternative ways in which universities, industry, venture investors, business service providers and the State can collaborate in building an innovation ecosystem in New York.

    Registration information:

    Read the full Task Force Report at:

    Cleantech Venture Investments reach $1.9 billion in 1Q10

    Cleantech venture investments totaled $1.9 billion in 1Q10, with funding spread among 180 companies in North America, Europe, China and India, according to the Cleantech Group and Deloitte, who compiled the figures.  The number of deals in 1Q10 outstrips the previous record set in 4Q09 (165 deals), suggesting the sector is continuing to bounce back from a period of stagnation in early 2009.

    Growth in cleantech venture investment was matched by new investment from utilities and corporations. In the U.S., Wind and Solar PV remained the most attractive energy sources for utilities due to extended tax credits, while utilities also focused on smart grid projects boosted by significant federal grants.  In the corporate space, direct investments announced during 1Q10 increased by 140% quarter-over-quarter compared to 4Q09, primarily by energy and consumer and industrial products companies. Solar PV, Wind and Smart Grid continue to be attractive sectors for top utilities and corporations looking to invest in clean technologies.

    The leading sector in the quarter by amount invested was transportation--predominantly infrastructure and vehicles--which had a record quarter ($704 million), helped significantly by a $350 million round for Better Place, the second largest cleantech VC deal ever. Solar was in second place ($322 million). Energy Efficiency was the most popular sector measured by number of deals, with 39 funding rounds, ahead of Solar and Transportation (which had 27 deals each). The largest transactions in these sectors were:

    North America accounted for 81% of the total, a three-year high for the region, while Europe and Israel accounted for 14%, China for 4%, and India 1%.

    Clean tech VC investments up 68% in 1Q10

    Clean tech grabbed $773.3 million from venture capitalists in the first quarter of 2010, soaring 68 percent from the same period last year, according to Dow Jones VentureSource.  Clean tech firms did twice as many deals-72-in the quarter as last year.  The recovery for the sector is leading venture capital overall, which grew only 11 percent over last year’s numbers.  The largest number of clean tech deals were in seed and early stage companies, which accounted for 34 transactions and 49 percent of the total, marking the highest percentage since Q4 2008.

    GE Research working on thin film solar solutions

    GE Sees Bright Future for Thin Film Solar Technology -- ---Increasing Investment in Promising Thin Film Photovoltaic Technology; Engaging Global Resources to Deliver Best-in-Class Products

    From GE's Global Research Center in NISKAYUNA, N.Y.

    "With the race on in earnest to have the most efficient, low-cost solar module on the market, GE is focusing its research and development efforts on thin film photovoltaic (PV) technology in conjunction with PrimeStar Solar Inc., the startup firm in which GE is a majority investor. Working closely with PrimeStar technology experts, the company is bringing to bear the full scale of its four Global Research operations to address each of the challenges required to bring a new product to market.

    “After having completed an exhaustive survey of the PV landscape, we determined that thin films were the optimum path for GE,” said Danielle Merfeld, GE’s solar R&D leader. “Specifically, the CdTe technology from PrimeStar has great potential. Bringing together world-class materials expertise, unique materials and systems modeling and design capabilities and state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor solar testing facilities, GE researchers are innovating across our four global research centers— literally around the clock—to deliver a breakthrough product to market.”

    GE’s research team in Niskayuna, N.Y., is working on all facets of CdTe module development, including material growth, device development and robust process development. Their technical expertise cuts across diverse fields such as surface chemistry, laser processing and plasma physics. Equally diverse is its product development experience, derived from GE’s other technology-focused businesses such as Healthcare, Lighting and Batteries.

    GE currently provides a range of utility-scale solar solutions, including smart grid power electronics and pre-packaged systems. GE’s Brilliance™ solar inverter offers reliable power conversion technology derived from its industry-leading 1.5 megawatt wind turbine."
    About GE Global Research
    GE Global Research is the hub of technology development for all of GE's businesses -- a center where scientists and engineers redefine what’s possible and find answers to some of the world’s toughest problems.
    The GE research team innovates 24 hours a day, with sites in Niskayuna, N.Y.; Bangalore, India; Shanghai, China; and Munich, Germany.

    Visit GE Global Research on the web at
    Connect with technologists at and

    NYS companies at Windpower 2010 include GE Research and Intertek

    Intertek, a global leader in the testing, inspection, and certification of power generation products for manufacturers and installers around the world, was one of the featured NYS exhibitors this week at Windpower 2010.  Intertek offers compliance services for meeting ANSI/UL, CSA standards and CE Marking requirements for Europe. Intertek operates wind testing and certification facilities in Upstate New York.   For more information:

    Also at the show was a wind business development consortium representing Massena, NY  -- a region in Upstate New York with some of the largest wind installations east of the Mississippi.

    A Terrawatt sponsor was GE Wind Energy, one of the world's leading wind turbine suppliers, with over 13,500 wind turbine installations worldwide comprising more than 218 million operating hours and 127,000 GWh of energy produced.  GE's Global Corporate Research headquarters is in Upstate New York, and the company has wind manufacturing and assembly facilities in Germany, Norway, China, Canada and the United States.  It's current product portfolio includes wind turbines with rated capacities ranging from 1.5 to 4.0 megawatts and support services ranging from development assistance to operation and maintenance.

    Connecting upstate technology assets and downstate capital markets

    Looking for insight into capital markets and venture networks in New York?  There's a strong interest in linking upstate R&D assets and technologies, with downstate capital markets.  The Clean Tech Center is frequently asked to help broker those connections.  Here's a list to get upstate technology companies networking with private equity and venture firms in the New York State region.  All sites below include direct links:

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project (GLOW) to host event on June 24 in Syracuse

    Read the complete background information on GLOW -- including the RFP, FAQ's, latest updates, Fact Sheet, and calendar of events regarding this major development opportunity:

    Creating a buzz in the wind industry is news that The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has issued a Request for Proposals for the development of a utility-scale offshore wind farm between 120 megawatts (mw) and 500 mw total capacity in either Lake Erie or Lake Ontario. NYPA plans to purchase the full electricity production under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), with a goal of creating the first offshore freshwater wind farm

    As part of building New York's offshore wind industry. NYPA has also developed an online, business-to-business registry for companies interested in becoming involved in this project. The registry is now available to list ompany information.

    Learn more by attending a Get Listed! event, scheduled on June 24 from 1 to 3 p.m. in Syracuse.
    Register for Syracuse program.

    NYPA's RFP to develop an offshore wind farm in the Great Lakes is an opportunity for New York State manufacturers and service providers, especially in Western and Northern New York, to take part in this growth industry. In addition, NYPA is interested in attracting new and innovative companies to New York for offshore wind development.

    Companies who are encouraged to participate in the registry include:
    • Manufacturers and suppliers of a wide range of mechanical and electrical components including: generators, hydraulics, sensors, hardware, drives, power distribution, composites, cabling, big steel, castings, forgings, bearings and gearboxes.
    • Construction equipment and suppliers, including: cranes, concrete and rear.
    • Transportation companies supporting large-scale items over land, rail and sea
    The Syracuse event is being coordinated by NYPA with CenterState  CEO.

    Eco-exchange: Russian environmental delegation meets with NYS Clean Tech Center

    Young Russian clean tech cluster leaders came to The Clean Tech Center today as part of a week-long eco-exchange with researchers, economic agencies, companies and investors.  The delegation, organized by the U.S. Library of Commerce and U.S. Department of State, was focused on understanding the role of federal, state and local governments in advancing green entrepreneurship.  The delegation picked the Syracuse - Central Upstate region for its eco-exchange because of the region's growing prominence on the global scene as one of the top clean tech clusters in the world.  The Clean Tech Center is a NYSERDA-funded clean energy incubator operated by the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity.

    The group discussed environmental policy and initiatives in Russia, and explored mutual opportunities for technology exchange and joint ventures related to clean tech development, and left impressed with the innovative regional clean tech development in the region.  In return, representatives of NY's clean tech cluster were impressed with the growing Russian youth movement to embrace social entrepreneurship and environmental stewardship.  Members of the delegation included government officials, heads of NGO's, entrepreneurs, cultural attaches, engineers and CEO's of LLC's.

    To learn more about the Russian clean tech cluster:
    To learn more about New York's Clean Tech Center:
    The Clean Tech Center website is translatable into Russian by clicking a button at the bottom of the main page.

    Greening USA to test its community sustainability rating system in Syracuse

    See original story By Marie Morelli / The Post-Standard

    Greening USA's 12 Traits of Sustainable Communities ratings system will be put to a beta test by the City of Syracuse, who will score itself against 36 sustainable criteria related to government leadership, land use planning, transportation systems, water infrastructure, green buildings, green energy, waste management, health and safety, sustainable economic development and community engagement.

    The scoring would use data from public sources such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as internal assessments. Communities could achieve one of four levels -- member community, sustainable community, highly sustainable community and highly sustainable community of distinction.

    Peter Arsenault, the Manlius architect who coordinated development of the 12 Traits system, said Greening USA hopes to emulate the "All America City'' program of the National Civic League. Cities compete for the honor and trumpet it on road signs and marketing materials.

    The 12 Traits assessment tool is posted on Greening USA's website. The download is free, with registration.

    The group also is seeking more communities to "beta-test'' the program. All fees will be waived for the first year for any county, city, town or village that signs up, Arsenault said.

    After four years of development, GreeningUSA launched its "Beta-test" version of the 12 Traits© for Sustainable Communities today at its sixth Annual Meeting. The12 Traits© is the most comprehensive rating system developed for communities to measure their successes, shortfalls, recognize strengths and weaknesses, and to make sense of how to prioritize future initiatives in their move to become truly sustainable.

    Download a power point presentation outlining the new "Beta-test" version of the 12 Traits here. (no registration required)

    Read further for directions on downloading your free copy of the full Self Assessment Manual.

    Northeast Sun Grant this week in Syracuse

    The Northeast Sun Grant 2010 Conference came to Syracuse this week to examine opportunities related to markets, infrastructure and technologies to build a new biobased energy economy.  Sun Grant Initiative programs foster support for the development and implementation of new technologies related to the conversion of biomass into energy and other non-food products. 

    The Sun Grant Initiative expands the role of Land Grant Institutions, such as Cornell University, to address issues of national energy security and rural economic development.  The Sun Grant programs, in association with the US Department of Energy, US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Transportation funded more than $9 million annually in bio-based research from 2007-2010.  Funding for the 2008 Northeast Region Competitive Grants program was from the US Department of Transportation.

    More than 70 participants from the Land Grant Institutions of the Northeast Sun Grant Region have developed a Roadmap of Research, Education and Outreach Priorities for the Northeast Region.  "A Strategic Roadmap for the Northeast Region of the Sun Grant Research Initiative", which is used today by the Northeast Sun Grant Steering Committee as a guide to set priorities for regional competitive grants programs.
    13 states participate in the Northeast Sun Grant region.  NYS funded projects include:
    • Cornell Biomass Crop Research 2007-08
    • Regional Sun Grant Institute of Excellence
    • Regional Feedstock Conference Planning Team
    • Influence of Alternative Pretreatment Strategies on Cellulosic Ethanol Production using Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation at High Solids Concentrations.
    • Biomass Feedstock Production in the Northeast: Economic and Environmental Implications
    • Small Farm Integrated Energy System
    • A Biofuel Screening Program for Grass Feedstocks: Diversity, Physiological Traits and Compositional Characteristics for Optimal Yield.
    Five partnering land grant institutions lead the national Sun Grant Initiative, providing a regional emphasis to Sun Grant programs. The five (5) Centers of Excellence include North Central Center at South Dakota State University, The Northeast Center at Cornell University, the South Eastern Center at University of Tennessee, the South Central Center at Oklahoma State University, and the Western Region Center at Oregon State University.  Land Grant Institutions in the Northeast Region and throughout the country lead global agricultural research, education and outreach.

    NY one of the top greenest states, according to

    Which state is the greenest? New York is in the top three, according to a new report byt green directory, which explored that question through an extensive analysis of data including water quality, recycling rate and eco-friendly and energy efficient buildings.  New York ranked third in the country for its low water consumption per capita compared to other states, and large number of green businesses, some 3,000, according to Greenopia.

    This was a tremendous undertaking because of the variety of ways a State can be evaluated environmentally,” said Gay Browne, Founder of Greenopia. “Not only are there many criteria that must be considered, but it is important to make sure that the data between states was collected using the same set of assumptions.”

    Greenopia used a comprehensive set of criteria to determine the state ratings and rankings. Data was utilized from several government sources and NGOs such as the EPA, EIA, USGS, American Lung Association, LEED, and from individual state government pages. The criteria used to evaluate each state included its air quality, water quality, recycling rate, number of LEED buildings, number of green businesses, per capita water consumption, per capita energy consumption, per capita emissions, renewable energy generation, and how progressive its state legislature has been in adopting green measures.

    Greenopia is an online directory for green, sustainable services and products.  For more info:

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    Cornell advances to final nine of Automotive X Prize

    Automotive X Prize  for the best fuel-efficient vehicles in the world narrowed to nine this week, with Cornell's 100 MPG+ Team making the slate to compete in first-round action of the Progressive Automotive X Prize competition.  For the full story: 

    NY makes one of top states for green job hiring

    Source:  PRNewswire

    When it comes to green job hiring, not all states are created equal. That's the premise of a new study conducted by the green job search engine who found that employers in five states showed the most current green job openings online as of May 2010. Those states (in order) are:
    1. California
    2. Washington, DC
    3. New York
    4. Texas
    5. Colorado
    Researchers checked over 20 green-specific job boards and major job search aggregators to decide the top five. They did so by querying each site according to number of openings in each state against various green job titles such as Solar Installers, Engineers, Environmental, Biofuels and Smart Grid. Each state was ranked according to the total number of jobs across each source. Individual company sites were not part of the project.

    What's a Green Job?
    While there are definitely shades of green jobs, the basic definition is this: any job that creates, supports, maintains or regulates recycling, energy efficiency or renewable energy products and services. This could be a wind turbine technician or an accountant who works at the wind farm. Both jobs are considered green.

    About Green Job Spider
    Green Job Spider is not a job board. It is a job search engine that crawls green job sources  -- a sort of "Google for green jobs." All sources are indexed nightly and hand-picked to ensure quality.  Currently in BETA, the site is located at

    Friday, May 21, 2010

    CenterState CEO's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Division

    The Clean Tech Center is proud to now be part of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship portfolio of CenterState CEO -- a landmark consolidation of regional economic development organizations in the Central Upstate region of New York State.  The new structure will better support emerging and early stage businesses and accelerate technology commercialization through increased capacity, outreach and resources.   In addition, the organization will provide increased availability of seed funding and investment capital., and advocate for innovation policies, programs and resources that support rapid growth of companies in strategic sectors tied to key regional assets.

    CenterState CEO's unique programs tap into the region's rich entrepreneurial talent, connect innovators with financial resources and facilitate collaborative university-industry partnerships.  The portfolio services include:
    • $200,000 New York’s Creative Core© Emerging Business Competition
    • Grants for Growth
    • The Tech Garden
    • The Clean Tech Center
    • Syracuse Student Sandbox
    • Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program

    NYSIO executes agreement with U.S. DOE to deploy Smart Grid technologies in New York State

    The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) announced this past week that an agreement has been executed between the NYISO and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) through which the NYISO will receive $37.8 million from DOE to deploy smart grid technologies on New York’s power grid.

    The federal funds, provided under the Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) program, will support a $75.7 million  smart grid project to enhance the reliability and efficiency of the New York State power grid.

    The NYISO also signed an agreement with all eight of New York’s transmission owners to work together to
    implement the project. The transmission owners are Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Consolidated Edison of New York, Orange and Rockland, Long Island Power Authority, National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas, Rochester Gas and Electric and New York Power Authority.
    The project involves the creation of a statewide Phasor Measurement Network and the installation of capacitor banks in various locations throughout the state. These investments will enhance the reliability and efficiency of the bulk electricity grid and provide the foundation for further development of smart grid infrastructure in New York State. The agreements call for the work to be completed over a 3-year period starting July 1, 2010.

    “This is an important step in the effort to make New York’s electricity grid smarter and more efficient. It is the result of excellent cooperation and collaboration among federal and state officials and the owners and operator of New York’s high-voltage transmission system,” said Stephen G. Whitley, president and CEO of the NYISO. “With these investments on the way, New Yorkers will benefit from a more robust and reliable power system. This will create jobs for New Yorkers and ultimately help to make power more affordable and more reliable while paving the way for other advanced technologies to be deployed.”

    The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) is a not-for-profit corporation responsible for operating the state’s bulk electricity grid, administering New York’s competitive wholesale electricity markets, conducting comprehensive long-term planning for the state’s electric power system, and advancing the technological infrastructure of the electric system serving the Empire State.

    NYS Extends Power for Jobs

    The popular NYS Power for Jobs subsidy program appears to be moving toward extension.  "With the passage of legislation by the State Legislature for a two-week extension of the Power For Jobs (PFJ) and Energy Cost Savings Benefit (ECSB) programs and with an indication from the Governor's office that the Governor will sign it, NYPA has reactivated the programs, " said Richard M. Kessel, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Power Authority.  "We will work with the companies that participate in the programs to make sure they receive the full benefits of PFJ and ECSB going forward through the June 2nd extension period and retroactively to Sunday, May 16. We look forward to working with the Governor and the State Legislature to enact a permanent program that allows NYPA to use its resources to the greatest extent possible to help the business community throughout the state."

    Earthsense wins SBA Small Business Excellence Award: Green applied research firm to track environmental investment performance of Nasdaq top 100

    Photo:  Syracuse Post Standard
    Wendy Cobdra and Amy Hebard, co-founders, Earthsense

    Earthsense recently won the US SBA Small Business Excellence Award as part of national small business week.  The company, which is incubating at The Tech Garden in Syracuse, was nominated by The Clean Tech Center, a NYSERDA-funded clean energy incubator co-located at The Tech Garden.  The company is also featured in a terrific profile in this issue of Green CNY.

    The Clean Tech Center nominated Earthsense for its work building a national platform as an applied research company examining green consumer trends, attitudes, lifestyles and purchasing decisions.  It is widely known in sustainability circles for its Eco-Insights national survey, as well as for its creation of the Green Confidence Index, which has been adopted as the gold standard for understanding consumer perceptions of green companies.  Earthsense was featured last month at global sustainability conferences as part of Earth Week, and appeared on Fox Business Network on Earth Day.

    Last week, Earth Sense announced a new initiative to track the environmental and investment performance of the 100 largest companies traded on the Nasdaq.
    Read a great feature story about Earthsense at Green CNY:

    Learn more about Earthsense, including its new Nasdaq initiative at: 

    The company is actively seeking investors.  Contact Wendy Cobrda or Amy Hebard through the company website.

    Green CNY: Telling the Green Story

    May/June 2010 issue of Green CNY

    Just out this week, the current issue of this stylish and well written publication by the Syracuse Post Standard (available on-line above and at news outlets around the region) celebrates the "Green of the Crop" -- folks who are showcasing sustainability in Central and Upstate New York.  Read full profiles of the winners, and find other great stories about people and programs who are leading a green revolution across the region.

    Green of the Crop Winners include: 
    • Business -- Syracuse Habitat for Humanity
    • Educational and Community Organization -- Go Green SCSD/Syracuse City School District
    • Indivuals or Households -- Bread and Roses College House, Syracuse
    • Inventor or Entrepreneur -- Anil Netravali (biodegradable composites)

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    Cornell's JumpStart Program accepting applications

    The JumpStart program of the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR) has opened a funding round.  The program is designed to help small NYS businesses solve concrete problems related to materials through collaborations with university research centers.

    The mission of CCMR’s Industrial Partnerships Program is to promote active cooperation between CCMR and industry, to foster technology transfer, strengthen the links between university based research and its application, and promote economic development.

    The JumpStart program provides:
    • A one-semester project utilizing university expertise
    • An opportunity to build a relationship with university faculty and facilities
    • Up to $5000 in matching NYSTAR funding

    Applications for the fall semester are due June 25, 2010.
    For more information and an application:

    Just a sample of Jump Start success stories include:

    —A NY State manufacturer of polishing pads for the semiconductor industry approached Cornell for assistance with a product improvement project. Working with researchers in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, the company was able to gain a solid understanding of the physics and materials science behind their product. With this information the company was able to develop new production procedures and implement new quality control measures resulting in a higher quality product at lower price (Fall 2006)

    —A local precision optics manufacturer working on custom lenses for demanding military applications needed to optimize its polishing methods for these exotic optical materials. Cornell scientists were asked to construct a library of zeta potential and iso-electric point (IEP) values for various polishing abrasives and optical materials. Using instruments housed in the Nano Fabrication Facility at Cornell, researchers from the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department were able to sample and analyze a list of selected materials and provide the required data to the company (Spring 2008)

    —A New York manufacturer of ultrathin membranes used in a wide range of applications including molecular and nanoparticle separations wanted to explore new markets for their novel products. They were matched with Professor David Muller, a world leading microscopist in the Applied and Engineering Physics Department, to demonstrate new applications for their membranes as high performance sample supports for Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). During a one semester trial the utility of these new Ultrathin membranes used as sample support structures became very apparent. Prototype development progressed quickly to full production and this new product is currently being marketed by a new company division (Fall 2008).

    Wednesday, May 19, 2010

    Emerging clean tech firms profiled at SmartStart UNYTECH Venture Forum

    Syracuse was the host city as investors from across the northeast gathered the past two days for the 10th Annual SmartStart UNYTECH Venture Forum.

    Photo caption:
    Antek CEO Anthony Terrinoni and Orthogonal CEO Fox Holt, two clean tech companies pitching at SmartStart 2010.

    The 20 companies admitted to this year’s competition included eight from the CenterState NY region:
    • Antek
    • Brand
    • Earthsense
    • Floodwatch
    • Orthogonal
    • Propulsive Wing
    • Sound Reading Solutions
    • Symphony Video

    Coordinated by the Albany-based Center for Economic Growth, the welcoming sponsors for the event were the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity, The Tech Garden, The Clean Tech Center and SATOP. CenterState CEO Chairperson Susan Crossett, Vice President of Energy Services for National Grid, delivered opening remarks, noting that the Upstate New York region has begun to earn national recognition as an innovation cluster.

    “Syracuse was pleased to host this 10th annual venture forum, which is the premier venue matching emerging business ideas and talent with potential investors,” said Linda Hartsock, Vice President of Innovation and Technology for the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity. “The Tech Garden’s partnership with SmartStart UNYTECH and the CEG is helping build an innovation infrastructure across Upstate New York that is launching new technologies and businesses. We are especially proud of the five area companies who were competitively selected to be showcased at this year’s event.”

    SmartStart UNYTECH is Upstate’s foremost venture forum to highlight the best early stage companies to investors. Since its inception, 220 high-quality companies have presented and 62 have raised over $390 M in equity financing, including over $71 M directly attributable to their participation in the forum.

    “This year’s field of companies is as strong as ever and represents a wide range of market opportunities, from biotech to IT to security to even construction technology, “ said Peter Pritchard, Director of Venture Programs at the Center for Economic Growth and the forum’s coordinator. “The strength of the state’s research is reflected in these companies and we are excited about giving them exposure to the investment community,” he added.

    “Supporting high growth companies is important for the Tech Valley region, as well as across the state. Through regional collaboration we are able to showcase the best and brightest of New York State to the investment community. The Center or Economic Growth is honored and privileged to play a key role in presenting this forum,” concluded F. Michael Tucker, President and CEO of the Center for Economic Growth.

    About UNYTECH:
    UNYTECH is a collaborative effort among leading research institutions in the Upstate New York region including Alfred University, Binghamton University, Cornell University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, State University of New York, University at Albany, University at Buffalo, and University of Rochester, and regional economic development agencies and venture capital firms., Universities in Upstate New York contribute immensely to the intellectual capital and high technology economy of the region. The eleven participating universities together have research and development expenditures over $1 billion. Research carried out within these universities translates into commercially viable products and services.

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    NYSERDA Provides Funding to Establish New York Clean Energy Testing Centers

    Solar and Wind Technology Testing Sites Will Be Among First of Their Kind in Nation

    The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) this week announced $4.4 million in funding over five years to a Central New York-based testing laboratory to establish renewable energy test and research centers in New York that will be among the first of their kind in the nation.

    The funding will allow Intertek (Cortland) and a consortium of partners to establish solar photovoltaic (PV) and small wind test centers throughout the State. They will use rigorous real-life testing scenarios to measure safety, performance, reliability, durability, and longevity. Currently, there is only one accredited small wind and four accredited PV test centers in the country.

    “These new testing centers demonstrate New York’s leadership on renewable technology development and will give consumers and investors the most accurate information possible on clean technologies,” said Francis J. Murray, President and CEO of NYSERDA. “By serving as a proving ground for the latest renewable energy technologies, these centers will help bolster New York’s clean energy economy and our renewable technology infrastructure.”

    “Intertek’s additional test facilities for renewable energy technologies will provide needed testing capabilities,” said Brian Kramak, Director, Energy Services at Intertek. “Buyers of wind and solar products will have access to reliable third-party safety and performance verification for small wind and PV systems. Sellers of renewable energy products will be able to demonstrate compliance to regulatory requirements and incentive program requirements. Combining these certification aspects with coordinated research capabilities will help to advance renewable energy in New York State.”

    The clean technology test centers also will improve the ability to predict the output of wind and solar energy, which will help to maximize the production potential of these renewable resources. Coupled with a better understanding of wind and solar performance in real-world situations, the centers will help developers in optimally siting small wind and PV technologies and improve the state’s efforts to achieve Governor David Paterson’s “45 by 15” clean energy objectives.

    The wind and PV test centers also will help educate the next generation of clean energy workers by collaborating with New York State higher education institutions to provide real-world training and proficiency in solar and wind technologies that will help attract PV and wind industries to New York.

    Intertek’s regional partners in this NYSERDA-funded initiative include AWS Truepower, Clarkson University, Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY Canton, Alfred State, Binghamton University, and the Syracuse Center of Excellence.

    Currently, small wind technology and components are tested and certified at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado. The PV test center will be the fifth accredited center to open in the United States and the second to open on the East Coast.

    The location of each PV and small wind test center will be determined by Intertek and the consortium over the coming months. Each center will bring jobs and new renewable energy businesses to several locations throughout New York.

    About Intertek:
    Intertek is a leading provider of quality and safety solutions serving a wide range of industries around the world. From auditing and inspection, to testing, quality assurance and certification, Intertek people are dedicated to adding value to customers' products and processes, supporting their success in the global marketplace.

    Intertek has the expertise, resources and global reach to support its customers through its network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 24,000 people in more than 100 countries around the world. For further information, visit

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

     This week saw the launch of a landmark new organization:
    CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity

    The new organization, which is a merger of leading business organizations, becomes the largest, most effective economic and community development group in New York State.

    Statewide SmartStart UNYTECH Venture Forum coming to Syracuse next week

    The final slate of presenting companies has been chosen for the 10th Annual SmartStart UNYTECH Venture Forum, presented by the Center for Economic Growth in Syracuse, NY. A total of 20 high-growth early stage companies will be featured, including five from Central NY.  This year’s list includes Antek Inc.,, Symphony Video, Propulsive Wing, LLC, and EarthSense who will be presenting their business plans to the investment community on May 18th at the Sheraton University Conference Center in Syracuse, NY.

    “Syracuse is pleased to host this 10th annual venture forum, which is the premier venue matching emerging business ideas and talent with potential investors,” said Linda Hartsock, Vice President of Innovation and Technology for the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity. “The Tech Garden’s partnership with SmartStart UNYTECH and the CEG is helping build an innovation infrastructure across Upstate New York that is launching new technologies and businesses. We are especially proud of the five area companies who were competitively selected to be showcased at this year’s event.”

    SmartStart UNYTECH is Upstate’s largest venture forum to highlight the best early stage companies to investors. Since it’s inception 220 high-quality companies have presented and 62 have raised over $390 M in equity financing, including over $71 M directly attributable to their participation in the forum.

    Also featured at the event is a keynote presentation President of Jump Start Ventures, Rebecca Braun.

    “This year’s field of companies is as strong as ever and represents a wide range of market opportunities, from biotech to IT, to security to even construction technology, “ said Peter Pritchard, Director of Venture Programs at the Center for Economic Growth and the forum’s coordinator. “The strength of the state’s research is reflected in these companies and we are excited about giving them exposure to the investment community,” he added.

    “Supporting high growth companies is important for the Tech Valley region, as well as across the state. Through regional collaboration we are able to showcase the best and brightest of New York state to the investment community. The Center or Economic Growth is honored and privileged to play a key role in presenting this forum,” concluded F. Michael Tucker, President and CEO of the Center for Economic Growth.

    About UNYTECH:
    UNYTECH is a collaborative effort among leading research institutions in the Upstate New York region including Alfred University, Binghamton University, Cornell University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, State University of New York, University at Albany, University at Buffalo, and University of Rochester, and regional economic development agencies and venture capital firms., Universities in Upstate New York contribute immensely to the intellectual capital and high technology economy of the region. The eleven participating universities together have research and development expenditures over $1 billion. Research carried out within these universities translates into commercially viable products and services.

    NYSERDA Awards $11.3 Million for 25 Innovative Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Projects

    The New York State Energy Research and Development  Authority recently announced the award of $11.3 million to help develop and commercialize 25 innovative renewable energy and energy storage projects.  The NYSERDA funding supports technological advances that could benefit a variety of applications including mass transit, farming, small- and large-scale electric generators, hand-held electric devices, and others. 

    To finance the projects, NYSERDA will use $4 million of funds from proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas cap and trade auctions, and $7 million of Systems Benefit Charge funds.  These resources will leverage $11 million of private sector investment to bring total funding for these projects to $22 million.

    Demonstration Projects, $4.7 million NYSERDA funds
    Electrical Storage:
    • Ultralife Corp. (Newark, Wayne County) will demonstrate the benefits of co-locating a large lithium-ion battery storage system to modulate power sent to the grid with a 600kW wind turbine to be erected at SUNY Canton.
    • Electrical Power WorX (Alfred) will demonstrate a trackside ultra-capacitor energy storage system that features high-capacity rapid charge and discharge without moving parts.  This will support the New York City Transit system subway voltage and provide more efficient performance of the electrified rail systems.
    • Sojitz Corporation of America (New York City) will demonstrate a stationary, high-capacity lithium-ion battery system to capture and release energy created by subway train regenerative braking.  The field test for New York City Transit is expected to confirm results of a power-saving simulation that showed as much as a 50% reduction in power requirements from the grid.
    Kinetic Hydro Energy:
    • Verdant Power, Inc. (New York City) will conduct a pilot demonstration of three new Gen5 turbines and an improved channel-mounting system in the East River, off Roosevelt Island, Manhattan.  This continuing-project phase focuses on lower-cost mounting and deployment methods, the reliability and longevity of the latest model turbines, as well as continued environmental monitoring. Having received global attention, this project stands as one of the most advanced kinetic hydro projects ever devised and is sited in the heart of a metropolitan market and subject to continuous extraordinary flow conditions
    • EMG International, at N-Man Farm (Westtown, Orange County) will demonstrate a small (90-100 head) dairy farm anaerobic fluidized-bed digester that will convert manure to biogas for generating electricity
    New Product Development, $4.1 million NYSERDA funds
    Waste Heat to Electricity
    • Ener-G-Rotors (Schenectady) is improving through redesign its 50kW prototype Rankine Cycle waste heat-electric generator with potential for many industrial applications, and thereby capturing and generating as much as 700,000 MWH of electricity per year, without any further combustion or emissions.
    • Mohawk Innovative (Albany) is developing and demonstrating a scalable modular Rankine cycle turbo-generator line that will capture and convert waste heat to electricity.
    Photovoltaics (PV):
    • Graphene Devices, Ltd., (Williamsville) is developing the manufacture and application of grapheme films—a one-atom thick layer of carbon—to substitute for high-cost materials used in transparent conductive coatings for PV devices.
    • Solar Sentry Corp., (Pittsford) is developing a wiring-string maximizer to improve performance and extend the life of PV installations by detecting and “working around” individual faulty modules so they do not impede surrounding module performance.
    • Electrical Storage:
    • The City University of New York is developing a rechargeable flow-assisted nickel-zinc battery for more cost-effective applications, including transportation and grid stabilization.
    Fuel Cells:
    • MTI Micro Fuel Cells, Inc. (Albany) will conduct a field trial of 200 hand-held, mobile fuel cell chargers for portable electronic devices.
    • AWS Truewind (Albany) is developing a Plant Analyst program for monitoring and optimizing wind plant equipment performance.
    Feasibility Studies, $2.6 million NYSERDA funds
    • Magnolia Solar (Albany) is working at the SUNY Albany Nanotech center to develop structured nanoparticle coating for thin-film PV cells that could double their performance and potentially halve their cost.
    • Precision Electro Minerals Co. (Niagara Falls) is studying the establishment of a fused silica crucible manufacture for solar-grade silicon, used in making single-crystal PV cells, in New York State.
    • University of Rochester is seeking to develop nanotechnology-enabled processing for inexpensive and more efficient thin-film silicon PV cells.
    • RNY Solar, LLC. (Victor) is performing feasibility studies on novel solar-splitting concentrator modules that could improve solar collection by 100%.
    Solar Thermal:
    • SUNY Binghamton will work to develop new materials using nanofabrication techniques to create a solar-thermoelectric generator that uses the heat of solar radiation structure to make electricity.
    Electrical Storage:
    • Customized Energy (Endicott) is studying various electric storage devices to power refrigerated trailers while transporting produce from Albany to New York city via barge, displacing diesel-powered refrigeration to reduce petroleum use and air.
    • Expansion Energy (Tarrytown) will work to develop an innovative energy storage system using ConEd steam to produce compressed liquid air for storage which can later be released for energy generation.
    Fuel Cells and Electrical Storage fabrication:
    • SUNY Albany Nanoscience, in cooperation with Cornell and Alfred University will perform R&D studies on nanoscale materials for a more standardized and cost-efficient fabrication of micro fuel cells and batteries.
    • Aero City (Claverack, Columbia County) is working on a small-scale wind turbine speed controller that would benefit the cost-effectiveness of residential or small commercial wind machines.
    • Mechanical Solutions, Inc. (Albany) is studying non-intrusive equipment health-monitoring system for wind turbine generators.
    • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy will work to develop active vibration and flow control system using synthetic jets for wind turbine blades.
    • Clarkson University (Potsdam) will work to develop a strain-monitoring tool for wind turbine generator rotors.
    • Energy Research Co. (Staten Island) is studying use of laser monitoring when biomass is blended along with coal in generating stations to avoid ash-slagging problems associated with biomass.

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    New York State's first Solar Thermal Roadmap is unveiled

    The Solar Thermal Consortium (STC) (led by the collaborative efforts of Clarkson University’s Center for Advanced Materials Process - CAMP) is unveiling the first roadmap to establish New York as a national leader in solar heat and cooling (“Solar Thermal”) technologies through consumer education and incentives, installer training, promotions to attract manufacturers, investments in R&D, and permitting improvements.

    You can see the Roadmap at:

    From today's New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) news release:  
    Solar Heating and Cooling Program would Create 25,000 New Green Jobs, Generate $2.6 billion in Revenue, Displace CO emissions and Save Consumers on Energy Costs 

    The Solar Thermal Consortium (STC) today unveiled the first roadmap to establish New York as a national leader in solar heat and cooling (“Solar Thermal”) technologies through consumer education and incentives, installer training, promotions to attract manufacturers, investments in R&D, and permitting improvements.

    Developed over the past six months by more than 130 industrial, academic and governmental representatives, the Solar Thermal Roadmap creates a path to move New York State toward 2,000 MWs of solar thermal capacity, equal to 1,000,000 solar hot water collectors, or 500,000 residential systems. The plan would result in $2.6 billion in economic activity and 25,000 new jobs over the next decade.

    “Sixty percent of the energy consumed in New York State buildings is to provide heat and hot water,” said NYSEIA President Ron Kamen, senior vice president of EarthKind Solar. “Solar thermal technologies let the sun’s free energy warm homes and workplaces, and heat hot water. With this Solar Thermal Roadmap, New York is moving to become the national leader in the research, development, deployment and manufacture of solar thermal technologies.”

    Clarkson University President Tony Collins said, “Renewable energy is vital to our nation’s economic prosperity, national security and stewardship of our natural environment. Beyond building the technical competence required to strengthen New York’s solar energy industry, Clarkson’s role is to replicate our track record of bringing research to commercialization through powerful academic-industry partnerships in order to make this roadmap a reality. We are fully committed to help deliver new knowledge-economy jobs to New York.”

    Solar thermal technologies are widely used throughout the world. For the average family, solar hot water save over 50 percent of the hot water costs, and solar heating can dramatically reduce fossil fuel consumption in both homes and workplaces. In Germany alone, 200,000 solar hot water systems are installed every year, generating $2 billion toward “clean energy economics.” Over 90 percent of the hot water in Israel is heated by the sun.  Announced at the NY Solar Industries 2010 - Business of the Sun Conference in Albany, presented by New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA), the five-point Solar Thermal Roadmap recommends:
    • Creating a statewide educational campaign and electronic resource to inform consumers about the benefits of using the sun to heat homes, commercial buildings and hot water 
    • Initiating a Solar Thermal financial incentive program to encourage installations by shortening the payback time of solar thermal systems 
    • Promoting New York State as a location for Solar Thermal manufacturers 
    • Investing in Research and Development to create a scientific base that systematically develops next generation Solar Thermal technologies, especially solar storage and cooling 
    • Clarifying permitting procedures and union jurisdiction to simplify Solar Thermal installations
    Focused on solar heat and hot water applications for residential and commercial buildings in New York State, the Solar Thermal Roadmap is modeled on global best practices that have worked to create markets for this proven technology and new ideas from the consortium.

    The Roadmap’s proposed level of implementation would save an estimated 6 million gallons of oil, 9.5 million ft3 of natural gas and displace 320 million kilowatt-hour of electrical production annually by 2020, translating into an annual savings of over 350,000 tons of CO2 emissions and consumer savings of more than $175 million per year, according to STC.

    The Clean Tech Center is pleased to have been a bronze sponsor of the Roadmap.

    About Solar Thermal Consortium 
    The STC is led by the collaborative efforts of Clarkson University’s Center for Advanced Materials Process (CAMP), a NYSTAR Center for Advanced Technology (CAT); the New York Solar Energy Industry Association (NYSEIA); The Solar Energy Consortium (TSEC) and Droege & Comp. International Management Consultants. The STC also brings together a broad representation of industry professionals from closely related industries (such as plumbing, heating, cooling, and roofing companies), labor unions, government representatives, regulatory entities and public advocates.

    About NYSEIA 

    The New York Solar Energy Industries Association, founded in 1994, is the only statewide non-profit membership and trade association dedicated solely to advancing solar energy use in New York State. For information, visit 

    Friday, May 7, 2010

    NY Solar Industries 2010: The Business of the Sun Features 40 Speakers for Annual Conference next week

    National, state and regional solar experts, government agency representatives and academia speaking on both solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV) will headline the conference program for “NY Solar Industries 2010: The Business of the Sun” this month in Albany.  More than 40 speakers will present during the two-day event, May 12-13, at Crowne Plaza City Center, covering all aspects of the solar industry, presented by New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) along with The Solar Energy Consortium, the NYS Solar Thermal Consortium, and dozens of government, corporate, and other sponsors.

    Featured speakers include:
    • Frank Murray, President New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
    • Garry Brown, Chairman, NYS Public Service Commission (PSC)
    • Dr. Ryne Raffaelle, Director, National Center for PhotoVoltaics (NCPV)
    • Tom Congdon, Assistant Secretary for Energy, Governor’s Energy Office
    • Anthony Collins, President, Clarkson University
    • Kevin Law, president and CEO of Long Island Power Authority (LIPA)
    • Anna Dyson, Director, RPI Center for Architectural Science and Ecology (CASE)
    • Vincent Cozzolino, President, The Solar Energy Consortium
    • Carol Murphy, Alliance for Clean Energy
    • Christopher Alundl, Director, Bureau of Public Works
    • Tina Palmero, Chief, Renewable Energy and Environmental Certification and Compliance Section
    The conference will kick off on May 12, at 9 a.m., with the annual Solar Lobbying Day, followed by Solar Installer Training classes, workshops, the opening of the Trade Show, a reception and evening Awards Ceremony. The New York Solar Thermal Roadmap will be unveiled on May 13. Sessions that day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. will also address such pertinent topics to the industry as: solar financing, Net Zero, PV and thermal technology, federal and state policy, training and education, legal, utility solar projects, market forecast and trends, and building integrated solar architecture.

    Also on May 13, concurrent sessions will be held on “Growing Solar Manufacturing Capability in NYS” and “Solar in New York City.” Hundreds of attendees are expected. For information on attending, exhibiting or sponsoring the event, contact

    About NYSEIA:  The New York Solar Energy Industries Association, founded in 1994, is the only statewide non-profit membership and trade association dedicated solely to advancing solar energy use in New York State. For information, visit

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010

    Intertek announces opening of open air test site for small wind in Central New York

    Intertek has announced the opening of an open air test site for small wind turbines. The test site in Otisco, NY, together with Intertek's nearby Cortland, NY lab, is the only wind facility in North America that is operated by an OSHA recognized Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory capable of providing small wind turbine system and electrical component certifications. Third party certification, including Intertek's ETL Mark for the US, Canada and Europe, demonstrates the compliance to national and international safety standards.

    Government incentive programs for clean and renewable energy development are a key driver in the rapidly growing international wind power market. Intertek tests wind turbines and provides data to determine product eligibility for incentive programs.

    As a recognized third party testing company Intertek increases sales opportunities for manufacturers by providing verification of compliance with national and international wind turbine efficiency, performance, and safety requirements.

    "Intertek's new small wind test center is significant to both buyers and sellers of small wind turbines," said Brian Kramak, Director, Energy Services at Intertek.

    "Buyers of wind turbines have reliable third-party verification of important safety, acoustic and performance data. Sellers of wind turbines are able to demonstrate compliance to regulatory requirements and incentive program requirements."

    Intertek will test and certify small wind turbines for durability and performance according to the new AWEA 9.1 Small Wind Turbine Safety and Performance standard, and also the newly released Canadian standards such as CAN/CSA C61400-2, creating a 'one stop shop' for complete US and Canadian wind turbine testing and certification requirements. Intertek will also test for manufacturers that wish to use other certification bodies, such as the Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC).

    The facility will support testing of several small wind turbines at the same time, from the smaller 'micro' turbines of a few hundred watts, up to the 'largest' small wind turbine of 200m2 swept blade area - about 50-60kw.

    Using remote access monitoring, Intertek will generate 24/7 data to evaluate a range of real world environmental conditions, as required by the AWEA, Canadian and international wind turbine standards. The test center complements Intertek's existing market-leading capabilities for testing and certification of electrical components and systems including generators, inverters and controls among others.

    Source:  Wind Daily

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    Clarkson University Students Take Third Place in Clean Energy Business Plan Competition

    A Clarkson University student team took third place at the Tech Valley Business Plan Competition in Albany, N.Y., last week. It was the Tech Valley's first business plan competition to focus exclusively on new innovations for clean and renewable energy technologies.
    Engineering and Management seniors Sean P. Bonnell of Oswego, N.Y., Bridget E. Howley of Niskayuna, N.Y., Eric M. Ludovici of Lyons Falls, N.Y., and Nathaniel M. Jacobs of Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., will receive a $2,000 prize for their Controlled Environment High Rise Farm project that focuses on aeroponic farming through a high-rise commercial farm.

    The business plan presented by the students showed the economic viability and sustainability of high-tech greenhouse systems that could be used to grow produce in cold and dark climates year round. 

    Because of the high demand for year-round availability of local and organic produce in northern New York, the revenues from high-quality lettuce and greens are projected to offset the capital costs within five years.

    Teams comprised of college students from multi-disciplinary educational backgrounds competed in the competition, presenting business plans to develop and market a variety of green energy innovations, from integrated solar energy technologies and high capacity energy storage systems to cutting-edge technologies that reduce water consumption and material waste, among others.

    A panel of 15 experts from the energy, financial and legal sectors selected the top three business plans,

    The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the University at Albany, in partnership with UAlbany's School of Business, the Lally School of Management & Technology at Rensselaer, and the Union Graduate College School of Management, hosted the competition.

    The four students who created the plan were part of a larger interdisciplinary team of Clarkson students who studied the laboratory, engineering design and environmental and social sustainability of the project. The entire team won a Phase II grant of $75,000 at the EPA People, Prosperity and Planet competition in Washington, D.C. in April.

    NYSERDA PON 1176 - $4.5 million Renewable, Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Product Manufacturing Incentive Program

    PON 1176 - Renewable, Clean Energy, and Energy Efficiency Product Manufacturing Incentive Program, has been revised with new funding of $4.5 million and a first due date for proposals of June 10, 2010.

    Solicitation documents are available at:

    NYPA CEO Announces Strong Response To Solar Power Request For Proposals, Bids Now Being Evaluated

    New York Power Authority (NYPA) President Richard M. Kessel recently announced that NYPA received 43 proposals for development of up to 100 megawatts (mw) of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity, for a fivefold increase of the current amount of installed PV generation in New York State. The bids were in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP) that NYPA issued in January for distributed solar generation systems whose output will be the equivalent of the electricity that would be required for meeting the needs of approximately 15,000 average homes.

    "The overwhelming response that we received from the solar power industry puts this project on a solid footing, with the initial solar installations expected to begin later this year," Kessel said.  The Power Authority has begun the process of evaluating the proposals on the basis of the requirements of the RFP, whose bid submittal deadline was last week. It expects to make preliminary selections by this summer, with the decisions based on price and various other factors. This includes bidders' demonstrated record of developing, owning and operating solar power generating systems, and their plans for identifying and arranging for the use of host sites in the location categories specified by NYPA for the solar installations.

    The Power Authority is also interested in the plans for using local materials and labor for the installation, operation and maintenance of the equipment, as well as additional economic development benefits. To advance this effort, NYPA has initiated a business registry, which provides an opportunity for New York State manufacturers and service providers to connect with solar power developers and take part in this growth industry and initiative. To date, over 200 companies have joined the solar registry.

    Recommendations to the NYPA Trustees of the bidder awards are expected to be made at the board's September meeting. Further details on the solar power initiative are available on the NYPA Web site at

    The roof- and ground-mounted PV arrays will be installed at public or private kindergarten- through-Grade 12 schools, public universities and colleges, state and local government facilities, and municipal and rural electric cooperative systems—community-owned electric systems in Western New York and other parts of the state that benefit from low-cost NYPA hydropower. In addition to the Buffalo-Niagara region and 11 other counties in Western New York, the identified regions for hosting the solar generating systems are Northern New York, Central New York, Southeastern New York and New York City.

    The PV systems will be owned and operated by the developers, with the Power Authority purchasing the generating output under 20-year power purchase agreements. NYPA will also enter into contracts with the project hosts, such as schools where the PV arrays are located, for the sale of the electricity from the systems. In instances involving the municipal and rural electric systems, the solar power is expected to provide support for the local electric distribution grid operated by those systems, rather than the power being contained to a single host site.

    The generating capacity of the site installations is expected to vary from 100 kilowatts (kw) to five megawatts (1 mw equals 1,000 kw), with the installations occurring through 2014.

    The 100 mw of solar power are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45,000 tons per year, adding to the significant role that the Power Authority has played in removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere from energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives that it has undertaken throughout the state. These investments are reducing carbon emissions by more than 766,000 tons per year, furthering NYPA's credentials as one of the cleanest utilities in the country from its significant hydropower generating capacity. This includes the Niagara and St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt projects in Lewiston and Massena, which met approximately 15 percent of the state's electricity needs last year.

    NYPA has spearheaded the installation of 36 PV systems at public facilities in various parts of the state, from the Buffalo Museum of Science to the Executive Mansion in Albany to the Power Authority's administrative office building in White Plains. It is currently partnering with the University at Buffalo to install 5,000 PV panels to generate power for a total of 735 student apartments housing nearly 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It also is teaming with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority on a solar installation at the transit agency's Frontier Garage in Buffalo. Both installations are being undertaken by a Buffalo-area firm, Solar Liberty of Williamsville.

    The Power Authority's efforts to spur development of solar power have also been reflected by recent allocations of low-cost Niagara hydropower to Sunworks Solar to encourage the construction and operation of a $200 million solar panel manufacturing plant in Western New York to create 175 permanent clean energy jobs; to Globe Specialty Metals for the company's reopening and expansion of a $60 million facility in Niagara Falls that will manufacture silicon for solar power systems and create 500 jobs; and to Precision Electro Minerals, a Niagara Falls manufacturers of fused silica, for solar-panel grade silicon and other industrial products, for creating 13 additional jobs.