Press Releases - NYSERDA Develops Innovative Agricultural Research Program
August 26, 2008
New funding opportunities for innovative local food production systems
Albany, NY—The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced a new research program to provide $1.5 million in funding for innovative agricultural practices.
The production in New York State of fresh produce, fish and seafood products in controlled environments could experience explosive growth, based on rising energy and fertilizer costs, innovations in greenhouses and energy technologies, concerns over energy security and food safety, and ri sing interest in locally grown food products. This program will fund projects that expand the awareness and use of innovative food production systems by others in the state.
"NYSERDA is dedicated to addressing New York’s environmental and energy challenges in ways that benefit the economy,” said Robert G. Callender, NYSERDA’s vice president for programs. “At this time of rising energy and food costs, we are honored to be able to offer funding that will support the local production of food through environmentally-sound measures.”
Through this funding opportunity, NYSERDA seeks to encourage innovative local food production systems, such as Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), Modified Environment Agriculture (MEA) greenhouse technologies, aquaculture, and other farming applications and methods that support a sustainable economy, lead to sound energy management, and can reduce dependence on carbon-based fuels.
CEA is a combination of engineering, plant science, and computer managed greenhouse control technologies. It optimizes plant growing systems, plant quality, and production efficiency. By controlling the plant’s environment, CEA provides secure, healthy and cost effective year-round production of many plants.
MEA includes low tunnel and high tunnel field applications and low tech greenhouses where the plant environment is protected to reduce the impacts of weather extremes, but otherwise offers less than complete control of the plant growing environment. Aquaculture is the production of fish and seafood products in controlled environments.
In the coming years, water quality problems and other safety concerns in major vegetable growing states are likely to result from field-crop contamination. As a result, New York State will assume a larger food production role. Innovative local food production systems, such as CEA, MEA and aquaculture, can provide an increased supply of locally-sourced, high-quality food products that will be available out-of-season , can be grown with little or no pesticide, and will provide a major economic boost to New York’s agricultural sector.
NYSERDA will fund this innovative agriculture research and development through solicitation PON 1236: Energy Productivity in Innovative Local Food Production Systems. This solicitation seeks proposals from both technology researchers and technology users and proposals can fall under a range of categories, including experimental research, feasibility studies, commercial development, outreach projects and more.
To answer questions regarding this PON, there will be four regional iinformation workshops held throughout New York State.
Albany: NYSERDA Office - 17 Columbia Circle - (518) 862-1090
Date: September 2, 2008
Time: 2 p.m.
Manhattan: NYSERDA Office - 485 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1006
Date: September 4, 2008
Time: 11 a.m.
Syracuse: CNY TDO Office - 1201 East Fayette Street - (315) 425-5144
Date: September 10, 2008
Time: 3 p.m.
Buffalo: NYSERDA Office - 726 Exchange Street, Suite 821 - (716) 842-1522
Date: September 11, 2008
Time: 1 p.m.
Laura Bunzey, NYSERDA
518-862-1090, Ext. 3446
Last Updated: 10/19/2012