NYSERDA’s Investments in Early Stage Technologies Achieved Significant Milestones in 2009 to Help Grow New York’s Clean Energy Economy
December 23, 2009
Albany Dec. 30, 2009-Several projects supported in their early stages by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) reached significant milestones this year that indicate their potential to have substantial success improving New York State’s environment and creating jobs in New York’s clean energy economy.
“NYSERDA has played an integral role in the development of many cutting edge technologies that promise to transform the energy landscape in the coming years,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Francis J. Murray, Jr. “The early investments we’ve made and the public-private partnerships we have formed over the years will pay significant dividends by helping New York realize Governor David Paterson’s vision for a cleaner, more vibrant New York in the future.”
NYSERDA's R&D programs support the development and commercialization of innovative energy and environmental products, technologies, and processes that improve the quality of life for New York's citizens and help New York businesses to compete and grow in the global economy. NYSERDA's R&D programs have been instrumental in attracting new businesses to New York, enabling companies to bring new products to market, expand, retain and create new jobs, and increase profitability for many businesses across the State.
Here are some of the projects funded by NYSERDA over the years that have achieved significant progress this past year:
- High-efficiency Wood Gasification Boilers Made in New York. ACT Bioenergy, a Schenectady-based boiler manufacturer that has received NYSERDA funding for two years has begun manufacturing an advanced European-design wood boiler that is bringing superior efficiency, environmental emissions and jobs to New York. Wood-gasification boilers offer the cleanest and most efficient way to burn forestry byproducts with lower air emissions and ash. NYSERDA is providing $1.5 million in co-funding for manufacturing and installation of these locally built units at environmentally sensitive sites in the Adirondacks and Finger Lakes region. NYSERDA environmental R&D funding also is supporting tests of pollution controls for the boiler, studies of the risks and benefits of using locally harvested wood products, and public education on the benefits of wood combustion.
- Green Building Innovations in Supermarkets Developed in Partnership with NYSERDA. Price Chopper Supermarkets, headquartered in Schenectady partnered with NYSERDA during the planning of the prototype for future Price Chopper supermarkets that implements green building features. The resulting new Albany store meets U.S. Green Building Council LEED standards. It uses a 400 kW fuel-cell system, the newest and largest in the world, which generates about 60 percent of the store's electric power needs, providing both heating and cooling for store operation. More than half of the nearly $3 million fuel cell and related high-efficiency equipment was made in New York and its installation was aided through an $838,318 NYSERDA contract. Stores and other commercial structures seeking to install this technology may be eligible for NYSERDA incentives.
- Advanced Energy-Storage System to Aid New York Grid. Beacon Power Corp. began construction in November on a huge, grid-size, 20 MW, underground energy-storage system in Stephentown, eastern Rensselaer County, supported by $2 million in NYSERDA co-funding. Beacon, which first demonstrated its flywheels in a small-scale Montgomery County, NYSERDA-funded project, is the designer and developer of flywheel energy-storage technology that can provide instant power for a more stable, reliable electric grid.
- NYSERDA Supported Companies Recognized at National Clean-Energy Forum. Four clean-energy technology companies supported by NYSERDA R&D funding were selected from hundreds of applicants worldwide to present their business cases to investors and industry experts at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) prestigious 2009 Industry Growth Forum. These companies included: Ecovative Design, LLC, a Green Island-based company that invented and began manufacturing packing and insulation materials made from agricultural byproducts, and won the top award at the Denver forum. Other NYSERDA-supported companies selected included Ioxus, Inc. an advanced-electronics manufacturer from Oneonta; Ener-G-Rotors, Inc. a maker of specialized electric generating equipment from Schenectady; and Beacon Power, Corp., a Tyngsboro, MA-based corporation that is continuing development of a major New York-based electric grid stabilization project.
- NYSERDA Contributes to New Advances in Data Center Efficiencies. In December, Syracuse University inaugurated one of the world’s most energy efficient data centers, a collaboration between the University, NYSERDA, and IBM. The $2 million in NYSERDA funding helped develop an on-site electric generating system that significantly increases both operational and energy efficiency. Future data centers and telecommunications installations, both of which have an important presence in New York State, are eligible for NYSERDA incentives to meet these new efficiency benchmarks.
- NYSERDA Funding Demonstrates Innovative Technology that Could Lower NYC Energy Costs. In November, New York-Presbyterian Hospital installed on-site electricity generation and tested a new ultra-fast circuit-breaker system with the support of NYSERDA R&D funding. Together they are expected to significantly lower the hospital’s energy costs, reduce its carbon footprint and provide more secure backup for the hospital’s critical operations. ConEdison’s approval of this system provides an option to thousands of schools, hospitals, businesses, and others in the New York City Metropolitan area to improve their energy operations by supplementing the power they receive from ConEdison without creating potential risks of damage to the power grid. NYSERDA offers funding to incentivize New York City on-site combined heat and power projects seeking to follow this lead.
- Transmission and Distribution A Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) system, initially supported by NYSERDA for a comprehensive feasibility study and pilot demonstration project, will be built with U.S. Department of Energy, NYSERDA and New York State Electric & Gas Co. co-funding near Watkins Glen. The empty underground salt caverns will be pumped full of compressed air during low-cost, off-peak hours, and will generate power as the air is released to help regulate grid operation during on-peak periods. The system also may mitigate the intermittency of wind generation at the large commercial wind farms in the central region of the state.
Visit NYSERDA for more information on these and other NYSERDA R&D projects.
Jeffrey Gordon, NYSERDA
(518) 862-1090, ext. 3544
Last Updated: 11/26/2012