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  • Governor Cuomo Announces Solar Growth of More Than 300 Percent from 2011 to 2014 in New York State

    Wednesday, 08 July 2015

    Governor Cuomo announced the growth of solar in New York State has increased more than 300 percent from 2011 to 2014, which is twice the rate of U.S. solar growth overall. The significant increase affirms the value of Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy – which includes the $1 billion NY-Sun Initiative – to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. 

    “The Empire State is rapidly becoming a leader in clean energy technology, and that means greener and more sustainable communities for all New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “Through the $1 billion NY-Sun Initiative, we’re making solar a reality in virtually every corner of the state and building a brighter future today. I am proud to see New York pulling well ahead of the national average for the growing solar industry, and look forward to seeing that momentum continue in the years to come.”

    As part of Reforming the Energy Vision, the $1 billion NY-Sun initiative is significantly expanding the use of solar throughout New York as it becomes a sustainable, subsidy-free industry already supporting thousands of jobs.

    A total of 314.48 megawatts of solar electric was installed as of December 2014 across the state, equivalent to powering more than 51,000 homes. The substantial growth is attributed to a combination of factors, including the NY-Sun initiative, decline in solar electric component prices, and growth in the number of installer businesses marketing solar electric directly to consumers.

    "Reforming the Energy Vision is already working to increase access for more and more New Yorkers to realize the benefits of local, clean energy," said Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York. "New York State’s booming solar industry is driven by individual and community interest in cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy, and Reforming the Energy Vision and NY-Sun are making it easier for businesses to meet this growing demand." 

    Solar capacity tripled, quadrupled or quintupled in every region of the state other than Long Island, which has more installations than any other region. In addition, numbers of projects at least doubled in every region. The largest increase in percentage of megawatts was in the North Country, followed by the Finger Lakes, Central New York and New York City. 

    The following shows the percentage increase of megawatts (MW) of solar capacity and projects installed in each region across the state from 2011 to 2014: 

    Region MW Installed Increase Projects Installed Increase
    Capital Region 500% 240%
    Central New York 519% 299%
    Finger Lakes 533% 193%
    Long Island 154% 122%
    Mid-Hudson 421% 296%
    Mohawk Valley 475% 365%
    New York City 516% 548%
    North Country 573% 153%
    Southern Tier 486% 144%
    Western New York 216% 171%

    In addition, as of May 2015, more than 304 MW of solar photovoltaic was under contract, not yet installed, with an additional 65.6 MW of applications accepted, not yet contracted.

    Maps showing megawatts of solar capacity for counties in each region and a chart showing pre-NY-Sun versus post-NY-Sun figures can be found here nyserda.ny.gov/solarcapacity.

    According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar energy is the fastest growing energy technology in the United States today:

    • Solar capacity grew in the United States by 146 percent from 2011 to 2014.
    • Installed solar photovoltaic system prices in the United States have dropped steadily – by 8 percent from 2013 to 2014 and 49 percent from 2010.
    • There are currently more than 538 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in New York, employing more than 7,000 people.
    • New York State ranked 7th in the country for installed photovoltaic capacity in 2014, up from 9th a year earlier, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

    “This exceptional solar growth demonstrates that New York State is doing what needs to be done to scale-up this renewable resource and move toward a sustainable solar industry,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of NYSERDA. “NYSERDA will continue to build on this momentum and work toward Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to create a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.” 

    An important pillar of Reforming the Energy Vision is the proposed Clean Energy Fund, a $5 billion investment over the next ten years in clean energy programs. The Clean Energy Fund encompasses four portfolios: Market Development, Innovation and Research, NY Green Bank and NY-Sun. 

    In 2014, the Governor made a historic commitment of nearly $1 billion to NY-Sun in order to significantly expand deployment of solar capacity throughout the state and transform New York’s solar industry to a sustainable, incentive-free sector. NY-Sun involves deploying public funds in a strategic manner to drive industry to scale and reduce burdens on ratepayers. It provides support for solar projects and uses a proven Megawatt Block system approach that is responsive to market conditions, allowing the solar market in each region of the state to grow at its own pace. It also includes support for work to decrease balance-of-system costs (everything except the cost of solar modules and inverters) through streamlined permitting, reduced acquisition costs and training of code officials and first responders. 

    Additional efforts under NY-Sun, such a Community Solar NY and K-Solar, are also helping homeowners, small businesses and schools throughout the State gain greater access to clean energy through economies of scale from soliciting bids for multiple projects at one time.

    Kevin Bailey, Owner, High Peaks Solar in Wynantskill: "The growth of my PV installation company has been tremendous over the past seven years, and we have been nearly doubling or tripling our growth in sales and installation capacity every year over the past five years. Thanks to Governor Cuomo's NY-Sun initiative, the price of photovoltaic technology, including solar modules and inverters, has been rapidly decreasing. This has led to increased access to more people and more work for installation companies like High Peaks Solar." 

    Gordon Woodcock, Renewables Department Manager, Taitem Engineering in Ithaca “Taitem Engineering's Renewables Department has more than doubled in size over the past year thanks to support through the NY-Sun initiative; low-cost, accessible financing through Green Jobs-Green New York; and innovative customer outreach programs such as Solar Tompkins and Solarize Southern Tier. We have added technical staff, sales and marketing professionals, and experienced contractors while also training entry level installers. Our diversity hiring initiatives have supported this growth, and shown that the renewable energy industry provides opportunity for our entire community.” 

    Jeff Irish, Founder and President, Hudson Solar in Rhinebeck and Albany, said, “As an entirely New York based solar design and installation company, we’ve benefited greatly from the NY-Sun initiative. Our Capital District and Hudson Valley solar installations and employment have both been growing at double digit annual rates recently. Hudson Solar’s mission is to help our region move to a better energy future, and we’re continuing to invest in our business and our experienced local team to do so.”

    Adam K. Rizzo, President, Solar Liberty in Buffalo, said, “Solar Liberty has continued to rapidly grow and add employees because of the NY-Sun initiative. This year, we plan to install more residential and commercial systems than anytime in Solar Liberty’s history. We are proud to be partnered with NYSERDA since our company’s inception in 2003 and look forward to continuing to expand our business in New York State.”
    Under Governor Cuomo’s initiative for Reforming the Energy Vision, New York State will spur clean energy innovation, bring in new investments, improve consumer choice while protecting the environment and energize New York’s economy. This pioneering approach provides New Yorkers new opportunities for energy savings, local power generation, and enhanced reliability. To achieve the State’s economic development and environmental objectives, Reforming the Energy Vision encompasses statewide initiatives such as the Clean Energy Fund and $1 billion NY Green Bank to overcome market barriers and attract private capital. By empowering communities and creating jobs through programs like Community Solar NY and K-Solar for schools, the $40 million NY-Prize competition for community microgrids and the $1 billion NY-Sun initiative, New York is leveraging statewide resources to integrate local energy resources and meet the needs of New York communities.

    For more information on Reforming the Energy Vision, please visit http://www.ny.gov/REV4NY.

  • Become a Creative Advocate!

    Wednesday, 17 June 2015

    The Regional Alliance for a Creative Economy (RACE) is building a team of Creative Advocates for a three-month, part-time project to build a narrative that stimulates the assets and employment of the creative economy in the region.

    The project:
    Creative Advocates will gather people, businesses and ideas that showcase the best of the greater Capital Region’s creative and cultural assets. These resources will then be woven into a five- to ten-year plan to grow the region’s economy using the connective tissue of these creative resources.  (The findings of RACE’s November 2014 study, Leveraging Regional Assets for A Vibrant Future, will serve as the basis for the evaluation of those projects.)

    Creative Advocates are:

    • Well-connected to multiple components of the creative economy.
    • Able to meet with area creatives and/or business people to foster connections that coordinate with existing plans for growth.
    • Motivated to support new relationships and opportunities.

    In addition to these meetings and connective gatherings, Creative Advocates will be required to attend an initial two-hour training session, as well as three three-hour debriefing sessions.

    • Training Session: Monday, June 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    • Debriefing Sessions:
      • Friday, July 17, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
      • Friday, August 7, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
      • Friday, September 11, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

    Questions? Contact Jean Leonard, Chief of Staff, Proctors & Capital Repertory Theatre

    jleonard@proctors.org or (518)-382-3884 x127

  • Pride Day at the 2015 Great New York State Fair

    Wednesday, 24 June 2015

    Pride Day Celebrates New York’s LGBT Community, Joins Fair’s Roster of Special Days with Flag Raising, Information Fair and Free Melissa Etheridge Concert

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the 2015 Great New York State Fair will feature a “Pride Day” in celebration of New York’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The designation will take place on Friday, August 28 to formalize what had been for many years an informal gathering at the Fair by members of the LGBT community.

    “New York is proud to be a leader in the fight for equality, and this summer we’re extending our celebration and support of the LGBT community to the State Fair,” said Governor Cuomo. “This year’s State Fair is set to be one of the best yet, and I encourage New Yorkers and visitors alike to plan a trip for the first ever Pride Day.”

    Pride Day at the Fair will begin with the raising of the Rainbow Flag at the Main Gate of the Fairgrounds followed by a day-long information fair linking fairgoers to various organizations. Pride Day will also feature a ceremony that includes speakers from the LGBT community and a prominent presence in the Fair’s daily parade. In addition, the LGBT booth, which has been staffed for 15 years by local advocacy agencies, will occupy its customary spot in the Center of Progress Building.

    Pride Day at the Fair will conclude with a free Chevy Court concert at 8 p.m. from Melissa Etheridge, the Grammy-award winning rock star who has campaigned for LGBT equality since coming out in 1993.

    Pride Day is in addition to several special days at the Fair including Law Enforcement Day, Armed Forces Day, two Senior Days, the new Six Nations Day honoring the contributions of the Iroquois Nations, SUNY Day and Women’s Day. The Fair always begins with Governor’s Day. The Great New York State Fair runs from August 27 to September 7, 2015.

    Troy Waffner, Acting Fair Director said, “We are pleased to have this first official day at the New York State Fair embracing the LGBT community. We are committed to an ongoing effort to create a more diverse Fair that reflects all of the people of New York.” 

    Click here to read more!

  • Troy Downtown Parking Management Survey

    Tuesday, 02 June 2015

    The City of Troy, in cooperation with downtown stakeholders, is conducting a Downtown Parking Management Study.  At this early stage of the study, we are asking the public to share their views on parking issues.  The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.  Your responses are important and will be kept confidential.  The results of this survey will be made available to the public and utilized in formulating parking recommendations for the downtown.

    Click here to take the survey.

  • Energy Department Announces $32 Million to Boost Solar Workforce Training, Drive Solar Energy Innovation

    Wednesday, 27 May 2015

    The Energy Department announced $32 million in funding to help  train  American workers for the solar energy workforce and to further drive down  the cost of solar by developing innovative low-cost concentrating solar power  collectors and increasing access to critical solar data. The Department is  making up to $12 million available to develop a diverse, well-trained solar  support workforce, including professionals in the insurance, real estate and  utility industries, who consumers rely on when they choose solar. An additional $5 million will fund projects aimed at increasing market  transparency and access to key solar energy datasets, and $15 million will  fund projects to develop new designs for concentrating solar power (CSP) collectors, the most expensive component of CSP systems. Altogether, this funding will help make solar energy more accessible and affordable for American families and businesses.

    The Solar Training and Education for Professionals funding program will tackle soft costs by addressing gaps in solar training and energy education, both within the solar workforce and in professions that play a crucial role in solar deployment. This includes supporting coordination among the Solar Instructor Training Network, military bases, and the solar industry; establishing new credentials in solar operations and maintenance, and mid-scale installations; and enabling solar training and education for professionals in indirect and related fields such as real estate, finance, insurance, fire and code enforcement, and state regulations. Concept papers are due June 26.

    The Solar Bankability Data to Advance Transactions and Access funding program will increase data accessibility and quality, and will facilitate the growth and expansion of the solar industry by creating a standardized data landscape for distributed solar. The goal of this funding program is to support the creation and adoption of industry-led open data standards for rapid and seamless data exchange across the value chain from origination to decommissioning. Concept papers are due June 22.

    The CSP: Concentrating Optics for Lower Levelized Energy Costs funding program seeks to further CSP system technologies by soliciting disruptive, transformative projects for the concentrating solar collectors in the CSP plant. These innovative projects will seek to enable CSP to be cost-competitive with conventional forms of electric power generation. Projects will target the design and manufacturing of novel solar collectors with the ability to significantly reduce the solar field contribution to the overall levelized cost of energy of the CSP plant. Concept papers are due June 25. 

  • Upstate Revitalization Initiative Update

    Tuesday, 26 May 2015

    The Capital Region Economic Development Council (CREDC) has formed the Upstate Revitalization Advisory Council to coordinate the development of the region's plan. This Council will be co-chaired by Michael J. Castellana, president and CEO of SEFCU, and one of the inaugural chairs of the Capital Region Economic Development Council and Michael J. Hickey, interim CEO of Center for Economic Growth. The Advisory Council will be a public-private effort and will include leaders from various industry sectors as well as the resources of some research firms to help create a roadmap that will contain short- and long-term strategies and tactics. 


    Between the Upstate Revitalization Initiative and the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Awards, approximately $130 million will be awarded for the top finishers ranging down to $90 million. This is an incredible investment in upstate New York and an enormous opportunity for our region.


    The Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) Competition is an opportunity for the Capital Region to create overarching strategies that will have a region-wide impact focusing on strengthening critical infrastructure, revitalizing communities, bolstering workforce development, growing tourism and improving quality of life. More information here.  


    Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) is open. The deadline is July 31, 2015 at 4 p.m. Access the CFA here. URI Revitalization Plans will be due to the State on October 5, 2015.

  • Realize Troy City Summit

    Wednesday, 20 May 2015

    realizetroyThe Realize Troy City Summit is a free three-day citywide community visioning and brainstorming event that will bring community leaders and residents together to explore key issues and challenges facing the city, and discuss ideas, opportunities and directions for the future. The Summit has been structured into a series of theme-based discussions, wherein participants will be presented with important background information relevant to a specific theme or topic, and then invited to explore opportunities within the theme that can best enhance Troy’s quality of life, community enjoyment and prosperity. Feedback from the City Summit will help the City prepare a new Comprehensive Plan which will guide development, decision-making and community building over the next 20 years, addressing both the current and future needs of the city.

    City Summit Launch 6:30pm – 8:30pm
    Location: Troy Middle School Veterans Memorial Auditorium 1976 Burdett Avenue, Troy, NY
    The City Summit evening launch will be an opportunity to learn more about the goals and intent of the City Summit and how to participate. The consultant team will provide a detailed presentation on how the community has evolved and a snapshot of some of the challenges and opportunities Troy faces today.

    Visioning Event 8:30am – 5:30pm
    Location: Troy Italian Community Center 1450 5th Avenue, Troy, NY
    A weekday and a weekend day have been selected to host the Summit to ensure broad based public and stakeholder participation. Both days will include the same schedule of activities and participants attending both days can take part in all visioning discussions. Each visioning session will include a background presentation from the consultant team highlighting important information about the city and theme, followed by break-out group discussions focused on ideas for improving and enriching the city.

    Click here for more information.

    Click here to register.

  • Calling All Artists and Designers! $2500 Prize for New SBIR/STTR Logo Design

    Wednesday, 13 May 2015

    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) “America’s Seed Fund” Logo Design Competition, pursuant to the America Competes Act,  is seeking submissions from artists and/or designers to create a thoughtful and imaginative visual representation of the government’s largest innovation effort focused on research-driven, innovative and cutting-edge small businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. Our tag-line is 12 Agencies…1 Vision: Seed The Future.

    The new logo will serve as the official logo for the SBIR/STTR Programs to be used for promotional and educational information, including but not limited to, the Programs’ website, SBA’s website, participating Federal agency websites, conferences, events, television, print, and other media outlets. The winner of the competition will receive $2,500 and their winning logo is intended to be unveiled at the 2015 Tibbetts Awards ceremony on June 15, 2015, at The White House and also be highlighted at the National SBIR Conference, June 15-17, 2015 at the Gaylord Hotel & Convention Center at The National Harbor in Washington DC.

    Click here to enter!


  • Small Enterprise Economic Development (SEED)

    Wednesday, 06 May 2015

    The SEED program is a new loan program for future entrepreneurs and small business owners that bases the lending decision on the character of the applicant and feasibility of the business model. Maximum Loan = $35,000.  

    The program was developed to address the following needs in the community:

    • Entrepreneurship opportunities for individuals who have indicated an interest in starting a business but lack the credit, capital and/or collateral for traditional funding or for expanding a business where financing is difficult to obtain.
    • Provide economic growth and community revitalization by extending loan funds to projects typically not fundable within current lending formulas.
    • Offer a model program that will evaluate the character of the borrower as well as the Business Model and project feasibility in determining fundability of the business that can be duplicated statewide.

    Click here for more information or to apply for a SEED Loan!

    The Small Enterprise Economic Development program is a collaborative effort between:

    • School of Business,
      University at Albany, SUNY
    • School of Social Welfare,
      University at Albany, SUNY
    • Small Business Development Center,
      University at Albany, SUNY
    • State Employees Federal Credit Union


    The partnership was developed to provide entrepreneurs that do not meet traditional lending criteria of cash, collateral and credit score with an alternative means to funding the start-up or expansion of their business. It creates a micro-enterprise loan fund that makes lending decision based on the character of the applicant, quality and feasibility of the business model and financial projections. 


  • Governor Announces $47 Million In Transit Grant Funding Available to Support Mobility Services for Seniors and People With Disabilities

    Wednesday, 29 April 2015

    Funding Will Aid Non-Profits and Local Governments in Providing Transit Alternatives For Senior Citizens and People With Disabilities

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the state has secured $47.5 million in federal transit grant funding to enhance the mobility of senior citizens and persons with disabilities. This funding is available to programs run by non-profit groups, local governments and other agencies that meet the unique needs of transit-dependent populations beyond the services provided by traditional sources of public transportation, as well as paratransit services in connection with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

    “This $47 million will provide essential services to people with unique transportation needs, and ultimately improve their quality of life,” Governor Cuomo said. “By supporting programs that offer transit alternatives to the elderly and people with disabilities, we are enhancing mobility and making a difference in the lives of New Yorkers across the state. I encourage all eligible organizations to apply for this funding today.” 

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