Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Top Ten reasons why New York leads the pack in clean technology

Shawn Lesser, president and founder of Sustainable World Capital and co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association and Joe Daniels, partner and chair of the emerging companies and venture capital group at Hodgson Russ, LLP co-wrote an article on the CleanTechies blog honoring New York State as a leader in clean technology and highlighted ten reasons why New York State is step above the rest.

The top ten reasons given are:

1. State Investments in Cleantech: The Office of the New York State Comptroller has committed $500 million to be invested over 3 years in cleantech funds through its Green Strategic Investment Program. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) annually finances $600 million in programs to advance the uses of energy and environmental efficient technology and renewable energy sources in ways that promote sustainable economic development. For instance, NYSERDA recently committed $250 million in funding for electric generation projects using wind, hydroelectric, biomass or other clean-energy resources. New York State also recently committed $25 million to the New York Battery and Energy Storage Consortium (NY-BEST) to create a nationally-recognized center for energy storage technology research and development. Its efforts have been validated by GE Global Research’s recent investment of $250 million on advanced battery research and manufacturing facilities near Albany. 

2. State Incentives for Green Business: The State of New York offers many incentives to businesses that elect to go green, including a personal tax credit of up to two million dollars per building over a period of five years to buildings that meet different “green” standards, property tax incentives such as property tax abatements for photovoltaic equipment expenditures, exemptions for solar, wind, and biomass energy systems, state rebate programs, utility rebate programs for companies that practice energy conservation and efficiency, industry recruitments and support, and economic recovery funding.

3. Increased Employment Opportunities:  New York’s Renewable Energy Task Force has concluded that more than 43,000 jobs would be created in the process of shifting only 25 percent of the state’s electricity needs to production by renewable means. In July 2009, in order to grow the cleantech sector and create jobs in NYC, NYSERDA provided a $1.5 million grant to the New York Accelerator for a Renewable Economy (NYC ACRE). NYC-ACRE is now an accelerator for promising cleantech entrepreneurs that provides extensive co-located resources along with physical space, and houses numerous successful cleantech companies. Because of recent job losses throughout New York State due to the recent recession, this and other efforts to increase cleantech job opportunities could not have come at a better time.

4. Renewable Energy Task Force and Plan: The Renewable Energy Task Force consists of a number of stakeholders in the field of renewable energy as well as alternative fuel industries, public utilities, agricultural and environmental communities, state and local governments, and energy policy experts, with a goal to increase the development of renewable energy and energy independence to attract the investment of clean energy industries into New York State. The Plan includes reducing electricity use by 15% from forecasted levels in 2015, new standards in appliance efficiency, creation of stronger energy-related codes for buildings, and investment into projects around the state dealing with renewable energy.

5. Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Reduction: Because of the desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the promotion of energy independence, renewable energy, and energy efficiency, New York State has been involved in several major programs to increase the impact of cleantech in the state. These programs include the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (the nation’s first market-based, mandatory cap-and-trade program), The Climate Registry, adoption of California State vehicle emission standards, climate smart communities, the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (30% of electricity from renewable sources by 2015), Green Buildings, and the NYSERDA Adaption Study on climate change.

6. New York Energy Smart Program: Created by NYSERDA, the New York Energy Smart Program was designed to increase the impact of renewable energy on all walks of life to reduce energy usage as well as costs. It provides energy efficient programs for owners of existing homes and new homes, low and medium income renters and homeowners, multifamily buildings, teachers, studies, businesses, and individuals interested in purchasing products to assist with energy efficiency. This program has an outreach program, energy education, clean energy training, and where to go to purchase energy efficient products.

7. Moving Toward Increased Use of Renewable Energy in New York City: New York City is the largest city in the United States and the fourth largest in the world by population. As such, it uses a vast amount of electricity every day, and has been very actively looking for ways to lower electricity bills by decreasing its electricity usage and increasing its use of renewable energy. For instance, the New York City Economic Development Corporation released a Request for Expressions of Interest to develop new and innovative ideas to assist the city in the development of renewable energy sources, including off-shore wind farms, wind turbines on bridges and skyscrapers, and using tidal, geothermal, and solar power.

8. The MTA is Going Green: With the recent investment into green businesses and the large number of investments into renewable energy, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, known by most as the MTA, has created plans for a number of cleantech initiatives such as green roofs, wind and solar power, water management and regenerative braking. The MTA runs the New York City subway, rail, and bus systems, which require more than 600 megawatts of energy per day. Because of its increased emphasis on becoming more energy efficient, the MTA stands to save hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. One of the things the MTA is looking into is generating roughly 14% of its total power from the use of wind turbines and tidal energy

10. Creation of Multiple New York Non-Profits: More groups are being created to assist in driving the overall impact of renewable energy in New York. For example, the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE NY) works to promote the usage of renewable clean electricity technologies and efficiency throughout the state. Its goals are to increase energy security and diversity, increase overall economic development, greatly improve public health, and decrease total air pollution.

For the full article visit

GlobalFoundries announces expansion in Malta

The worlds third largest independent semiconductor foundry, GlobalFoundries, has announced plans to build a new administrative building adjacent to its computer chip factory at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Malta, New York. Although there has been great speculation to the purpose of the building, GlobalFoundries has announced that it will house 450 workers to support the original chip factory.

In a design plan recently submitted to the Town of Malta, the company shows that the new administration building is designed in a way to allow for the construction of two more chip factories at the technology campus. The new administration building is capable of housing 1,500 employees and has the potential to be at full occupancy if the additional factories are constructed.

At a luncheon hosted by the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce GlobalFoundries communication director, Travis Bullard, hinted at the expansion by telling attendees that its factory in Germany, which was only planned on employing 1,400 people quickly grew to 3,000.

For more information visit

Saturday, February 19, 2011

David Manning announced as the NYS Smart Grid Consortium's executive director

The New York State Smart Grid Consortium, an organization of New York's leading utilities, industries and Universities has appointed David Manning as their first executive director. The consortium has a mission to implement an energy system that facilitates the employment of renewable energy sources to provide efficient, reliable and secure energy for New York. Only three years old, the Consortium has already completed a cost/benefit analysis that forms the foundation of future advocacy efforts, created a New York State Smart Grid Road map to assess economic, customer and social impacts, concluded public filings within New York Public Service proceedings on the smart grid, and created a portal within the U.S. Department of Energy program management for New York smart grid efforts.

David Manning is a Senior VP and Energy Practice Leader for the Boston based engineering firm, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., which specializes in energy and the environment. With experience advising utilities, energy providers, governments and developers on energy issues, Manning is a good fit for the position.

For more information visit

Friday, February 18, 2011

Govsphere to partner with Syracuse University and join the Wirless Grid Innovation Testbed

The Syracuse, New York based management/technology consulting firm, Govsphere Inc. has announced that it will partner Syracuse University and join The Wireless Grid Innovation Testbed (WiGiT). WiGiT is a National Science Foundation Partnerships for Innovation sponsored consortium that works to establish a set of open standards for the development of wireless grids. WiGiT is led by Syracuse University and Virginia Polytechnic and State University and receives support from Clean Channel Radio, Qualcom, Wireless Grids Corporation, Syracuse Research Corporation, Tufts University, MIT, Rochester Institute of Technology, City College of New York, the Syracuse City School District, BOCES Rockland County and the Seneca Nation of Indians.

The wireless grids being developed by WiGiT interconnect wireless devices, creating a value proposition to increase access to wireless communication services and develop new economic sectors. Wireless grids have applications ranging from emergency services to personal networking.

Govsphere's new partnership is expected to spawn projects that will support the Near Westside Initiative, facilitate the deployment of a crowd-sourced emergency solution, and remote monitoring solutions for green buildings.

Govsphere Inc. is a tenant of The Syracuse Technology Garden.

For more information on the new partnership click here.

Solutions & Opportunities: Upstate Energy Efficiency Conference

National Grid has announced their sponsorship of the Upstate Energy Efficiency Conference themed "Solutions & Opportunities". The conference will be held on Thursday, April 7, 2011 in Verona, NY. Still in the planning stage, National Grid is excepting applications for interested Exhibitors and Presenters.

To apply visit

NYSERDA grants $4.6 million to catalyze the growth of new transportation technologies

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has granted $4.6 million to catalyze the development/commercialization of new transportation technologies in New York State. NYSERDA has selected 17 companies with innovative technologies that show potential to reduce emissions, decrease our reliance on fossil fuels and create high quality jobs. The funding will leverage an additional $7.5 million of investments from the private sector.

Five of the technologies are from Central New York and represent a wide array of technologies. Syracuse University and BorgWarner are developing a fuel injection system for diesel engines that will run more efficiently and emit less pollutants. Senesis Corporation of Syracuse is developing software that will allow for decreased airplane idling time. PAR Logistics Management Systems of New Hartford has developed a system for tractor trailer drivers to monitor tire pressure from the drivers seat. American Aerogel Corp of Rochester is developing a method to better insulate refrigerated tractor trailers. The Rochester companies Environmental Energy technologies Inc. and Blue Lake Associates are developing a way to generate an ionic field in diesel engines to reduce pollution.

For a complete list of companies/technologies receiving funding visit

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Niagara Power Project's 50 year birthday

Last Thursday marked the Niagara Power Project's 50th year of generating steady, carbon-free hydroelectric energy for New York State. The project, which went online in 1961, marks the largest construction project in the areas history. After numerous upgrades, the hydroelectric facility is capable of diverting 365,000 gallons of water per second, generating 2.4 million kW of energy.

For more information on The Niagara Power Project and its 50 year history visit

Friday, February 11, 2011

Samsung to collaborate with IBM at The Albany Nanotech Center

IBM and Samsung have reached an agreement to collaborate on research regarding new semiconductor materials, manufacturing processes and other technologies to be used in a wide range of applications. Samsung scientists will join forces with IBM scientists to conduct research through the Semiconductor Research Alliance at the Albany Nanotech Complex.

The agreement marks the first time Samsung will work along side the Armonk, NY headquartered company, IBM at the world-leading Albany Nanotech Complex.
For more information visit

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Central New York's Climate Change Innovation Program

Today, the Madison County Board of Supervisors will consider participating in the Central New York Climate Change Innovation Program by adopting the Climate Smart Communities Pledge.  The pledge serves as an agreement to complete a wide spectrum of local climate initiatives ranging from promoting renewable energy to developing an adaptation plan for the local effects of climate change. 

If Madison County decides to participate in the Central New York Climate Change Innovation Program, it will receive as much as $30,000 in funding from the Regional Planning and Development Board to implement energy conservation/ alternative energy development projects.  Thus far, Syracuse, Oswego, Cortland, Preble, Dewitt, Skaneateles, Port Byron and Madison, Cayuga counties are participating in the Central New York Climate Change Innovation Program.

Stay tuned for more information on Madison's progress.

For more information on the program, including a full list of local climate initiatives and ways to get your community involved visit

Friday, February 4, 2011

Local utility companies expand their Small Business Energy Efficiceny Program

New York utility companies NYSEG and RG&E are expanding their Small Business Energy Efficiency Program to include Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Livingston, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Putnam, Schuyler, Sullivan and Tioga counties. Business and municipal customers who demand less than 100 KW are eligible to participate in the program, which offers an energy assessment and funding for 70% of the recommended upgrades. The program, which began in May 2010, has saved 1,600 businesses a total of $1,250,000 and 10 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.

The utilities hire and train local workers to conduct the business energy assessments and only select licensed New York contractors to complete the upgrades.

More information for NYSEG customers can be accessed at

More information for RG&E customers can be accessed at

New York State offering four grants to help low-income households make home improvements

Recognizing that home improvements can be costly, The State of New York is currently offering four grants to aid low-income homeowners and renters increase their energy efficiency and make necessary structural improvements.  The grants are offered through the Weatherization Assistance Program, EmPower New York, Assisted Home Performance Grants and The Monroe County Home Improvement Program.

 The Weatherization Assistance Program offers eligible homeowners and renters up to $6,500 for the insulation of pipes, hot water tanks, ceilings and walls as well as caulking and refrigerator replacements. Households with incomes of less than 60% of the state median ($55,980 in 2008).
For more information visit

EmPower New York offers funding for insulation, lighting systems, refrigerators and safety/health related-repairs. The program also educates residents on how to save energy. For more information visit

Assisted Home Performance Grants offers up to $5,000 in funding for the purchase of Energy Star appliances . To be eligible renters/homeowners must have a household income 80% or lower than the states median. For more information visit

The Monroe County Home Improvement Program offers eligible homeowners in Monroe County up to $10,000 in funding to make roof, window, foundation, heating, plumbing, electrical and accessibility-related repairs as well as painting and siding. For more information visit

Thursday, February 3, 2011

NYSERDA's Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program makes investing in farm efficiency more lucrative then ever

Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $3.2 million in funding to help New York State farmers reduce costs, energy use and carbon emissions through upgrades in energy efficiency. The funding, which is offered through NYSERDA's Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program, covers 75% of the initial investment paid by farmers. Such upgrades have the potential to save farmers more capital in the first year than originally invested. A few examples of such electricity/gas upgrades include process improvements, lighting upgrades and high-efficiency fans/pumps/motors.

The Agriculture Energy Efficiency Program is in line with Governor Cuomo's goals of lowering farming costs, facilitating the penetration of new markets for New York State farmers and creating green jobs.

For more information on the program visit: