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$3 Million NY Clean Energy Contest Winners Announced

Bard College, the University of Buffalo, and Broome Community College will each be awarded $1 million for winning the NY clean energy “Energy to Lead” competition.

“On behalf of the College I would like to thank the Governor’s office and NYSERDA for this important award. Innovation is at the core of Bard’s mission, and this award helps us to continue to innovate in environmental issues and energy conservation, and to signal the importance of these issues to the entire higher education community,” said Bard College President Leon Botstein.

BuffaloSkylineBard College’s micro hydro project could help avoid the emissions of 335 metric tons of greenhouse gases per year. An online presence will provide information about this kind of technology to educate the public and help spread it within New York state.

The University of Buffalo was a winner too, for its plan to create 100 MW of solar power in the local community over the next four years. The solar panels will be made in the Buffalo area, and installed by workers from New York state. The solar power systems will be installed on the campuses of SUNY Buffalo State, the University of Buffalo, and Erie Community College. It has been estimated that about 3,300 local jobs could be created by the solar project, and that about $125 million could be avoided by the reduced energy costs.

“Our university has a long tradition of leadership in research, education and engagement initiatives focused on creating a more sustainable future for our communities and our world. This groundbreaking proposal leverages this leadership and will help us build even further on our impact,” explained UB President Satish K. Tripathi.

SUNY Broome Community College was another winner, for its plan to create a geothermal learning lab on campus that also generates electricity. “The greening of SUNY Broome just took a huge leap forward. This initiative will substantially decrease our carbon footprint while fostering student involvement in sustainability efforts and entrepreneurship,” explained President Kevin Drum.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) managed the $3 million competition. Students who entered were to focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and reduction of greenhouse gases. These focus areas could be for campuses, classrooms, and in local communities.

Involving students in clean energy through such competitions is a great way to bring attention to renewable energy and energy efficiency. Some of these younger people will witness a surge in clean energy and their children might grow up with it being more present than fossil fuels.

Image Credit: Stephen Zimmerman, Public domain

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