The New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced New Castle, NY, as the first community with less than 40,000 residents to be designated in New York as a Clean Energy Community for reducing energy use and promoting clean energy practices. New Castle received the recognition for completing clean energy actions established by NYSERDA. It now has the opportunity to apply for up to $100,000 in financing at no cost to the community to fund clean energy projects.
The $16 million Clean Energy Communities Initiative is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) Reforming the Energy (REV) strategy to implement energy efficiency and sustainable development across New York. Its ultimate goal is to get 50 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable energy by 2030.
“Congratulations to New Castle on this important accomplishment and for its leadership in driving clean energy and energy efficiency across the community. Communities play a key role in Governor Cuomo’s REV strategy to ensure a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy future for all New Yorkers,” said John Rhodes, NYSERDA CEO.
To receive the designation as a Clean Energy Community New Castle had to commit to at least four out of 10 clean energy actions required by NYSERDA. New Castle chose to implement a community choice aggregation (CCA) program, where homes and businesses have the option to bulk purchase 100 percent clean electricity. The community adopted the New York State Unified Solar Permit to streamline the approval process for solar projects. It also created long-term financing by establishing a local Energize New York Finance Program that provides affordable financing for renewable energy projects at local commercial and not-for-profit facilities. Additionally, it approved a policy to collect data on energy use in municipal buildings.
“The Town of New Castle is proud to be the first community in its size range in the Mid-Hudson Region to achieve the Clean Energy Community designation. Since the adoption of the town’s Climate Action Plan in 2011, climate change mitigation and adaptation has been a priority in the New Castle community. This designation has highlighted the importance that we place on renewable energy and sustainability. We are excited to begin to play a heightened role in the state’s attempts to reform the energy landscape of New York State and to develop well-designed, impactful clean energy projects,” said Rob Greenstein, Supervisor of the Town of New Castle.
In addition to the opportunity to apply for more funding, New Castle has access to clean energy coordinators from the state to help the town prioritize clean energy goals. The coordinators will also assist town officials and business leaders in how to optimize funding and point them in the right direction for technical assistance.
New York continues to invest billions of dollars into its renewable energy policies creating employment in clean energy industries and clean energy opportunities for lower income customers. Additionally, support and development of rooftop and community solar installations through Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative is giving customers more clean energy options in both rural and urban parts of the state. For instance, in the upstate Finger Lakes region, NYSERDA administered funding to develop New York's first 359-kilowatt community solar array the Tompkins County in October (2016).Tweet