Next Round Of Clean Energy Competition For Colleges And Universities


Governor Andrew Cuomo recently launched Energy to Lead 2017, a $3 million challenge to New York colleges and universities to transform ideas into real clean energy solutions to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy bills and improve resiliency for their campus and surrounding community. The Energy to Lead Competition is part of Cuomo’s nation-leading energy strategy and supports New York’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and grow a clean energy economy across the state.

“This competition challenges New York students to develop ambitious and innovative clean energy projects and help build a cleaner and healthier environment on campus and in their communities,” Cuomo said. “Colleges play a crucial role in finding creative solutions to our energy challenges, and I encourage schools and students to get involved to help New York meet its energy goals.”

Energy to Lead 2017 is the second round of the competition, and is part of the REV Campus Challenge which recognizes and supports colleges and universities in New York State that strive to meet their financial, environmental, academic and community goals through clean energy solutions.

“Governor Cuomo has made it a priority to scale up New York’s clean energy economy and build a more resilient and affordable system,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The $3 million in additional funding for the Energy to Lead 2017 Competition will enable colleges and universities to further develop programs that will power their communities for generations to come by cutting costs to consumers, creating new jobs and combating climate change.”

The competition is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and is open to two- or four-year public or private colleges or universities. Funding awards will range from $250,000 to $1 million per project.

“Under Governor Cuomo, New York continues to lead the nation in developing cutting-edge ideas that reduce carbon emissions, improve resiliency and protect our environment,” said Richard Kauffman, Chair of Energy and Finance for New York State. “Engaging our future leaders to help solve critical energy challenges is imperative to fighting climate change and growing our innovative clean energy economy.”

In May 2016, Bard College, SUNY University at Buffalo, and SUNY Broome Community College were each awarded $1 million through Round One of the competition. Bard’s winning project will show how novel microhydropower generators can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and will be integrated into student curricula and workforce training. The University at Buffalo project will demonstrate how a college or university can partner with its community to transform the local energy ecosystem, and it has a goal to install 100 megawatts of solar power throughout the city’s college and university campuses. SUNY Broome Community College will show how a geothermal system can harness the energy stored in the earth to heat and cool a campus, and the project will serve as a learning resource for college and secondary school students.

“The Energy to Lead Competition highlights how the State, under Governor Cuomo, is supporting schools and universities to drive progress to meet our energy goals,” said Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “With investments like these in our colleges and universities, New York continues to ensure our next generation is contributing towards a clean energy future.”

Colleges and universities must be a REV Campus Challenge member to apply. For more information on how to become a REV Campus Challenge member, visit NYSERDA’s website ( Applicants are required to demonstrate approaches in one or more of the following areas: project design, business model, partnerships, and/or curriculum integration. Projects should utilize commercially-viable technologies, incorporate strong student involvement and consider on-and off-campus community engagement.

Students, faculty or staff interested in participating in the competition can obtain information, including submission guidelines and details about informational webinars to be held on Oct. 31 and Dec. 6.

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