$27 Million will Help for More Efficient and Cleaner Technology, Encourage Sustainable Forestry, and Train Installers for Growing Industry
July 29, 2014
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched Renewable Heat NY, a $27 million initiative aimed at building a sustainable, high-efficiency, low-emissions wood heating sector in New York. Renewable Heat NY will also help develop more clean technology manufacturing based in New York, a skilled installer base, and sustainably harvested wood fuels from state forests—supporting economic development while preserving the environment.
“The wood-fired heating industry is an important source of energy in Upstate New York, and by launching Renewable Heat NY we are helping to shape this growing sector with a focus on clean, sustainable, and highly-efficient practices,” Governor Cuomo said. “This initiative is the most comprehensive in the nation, and I am confident that it will support the continued evolution of a vibrant wood heating sector in rural areas of the state.”
Renewable Heat NY promotes the highest efficiency class of wood-fired heating technologies in the nation, and is expected to make New York State a national leader in developing this low-emissions industry. Environmental and public health benefits, along with a reduction in fossil-fuel use, an increase in sustainable forestry, and the expansion of the wood pellet and equipment supply chains, will benefit communities across the state.
The initiative was officially launched today in Troy at Evoworld Inc., a manufacturer of high-efficiency wood pellet boilers. Also participating in the event were Vincent’s Heating and Fuel Service of Herkimer County, a woman-owned company that installs pellet boilers, manufactures pellet storage containers and delivers pellets, Econoburn of Chautauqua County, a manufacturer of advanced cordwood boilers, and the New York Biomass Energy Alliance.
John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), said, “This initiative will lower costs for high-efficiency, low-emissions wood heating systems, and create greater acceptance in the market. NYSERDA will jump-start the initiative with large anchor projects, which will help increase demand for wood pellets and decrease the costs for smaller residential and commercial customers as the market grows.”
Joe Martens, Commissioner, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), said, “As Governor Cuomo outlined in his 2014 State of the State Address, the Renewable Heat NY initiative will help catalyze the installation of low-emission, highly efficient wood boiler systems that rely on our abundant, locally grown wood resources. DEC, with the help of NYSERDA, is leading by example. We are actively exploring ways to install a woody biomass system to supply the heating needs of DEC, the New York State Police and the Adirondack Park Agency at the State office Campus at Ray Brook.”
Renewable Heat NY will reduce wood smoke, fine particle, and carbon monoxide emissions by offering incentives to retire and recycle highly polluting outdoor and indoor wood boilers and wood stove technologies and replace them with high-efficiency, low emissions wood heating technologies.
Today’s announcement includes the launch of new residential and commercial financial incentives and training, available through NYSERDA, and sustainable biomass harvesting guidelines for suppliers of wood biomass, which will be developed and promoted by DEC. Additional elements of the initiative will be announced in 2015, including research and development support to drive innovation, further product development and track improvements in wood smoke emissions reductions.
Incentive programs were launched today for higher performing residential pellet stoves, residential and small commercial advanced cordwood heating systems, and large and small commercial pellet boiler heating systems. Incentives for small pellet boilers will be available for residential use in 2015.
More information on the residential and commercial incentive programs is available at: www.nyserda.ny.gov/renewableheatny.
NYSERDA is providing training for heating system designers, installers, energy auditors and code officials so they can become proficient in the best practices for installing and operating these advanced pellet boiler, cordwood boiler and pellet stove systems. Training will be ongoing to provide the skilled workforce needed for industry growth.
DEC will work with stakeholders to evaluate, develop and adopt a suite of recommended “best management practices” (BMP) specific to forest biomass harvesting for power or heating, as well as broader sustainable forestry BMPs. These enhanced guidelines will complement the current New York State Forestry Best Management Practice for Water Quality, developed jointly by DEC, the NYC Watershed Agricultural Council and the Empire State Forest Products Association.
Funding for Renewable Heat NY is made possible through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the first innovative market-based mechanism in the United States to cap and cost-effectively reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that cause climate change. RGGI was the world’s first program to auction the emission credits (rather than give them away for free) and invest the auction proceeds in projects that conserve energy, save consumers money and support the transition to cleaner and more efficient production of energy.
Congressman Paul Tonko said, “New York continues to lead the way in energy efficiency, and this public-private partnership between NYSERDA, DEC and local businesses builds infrastructure that will allow us to heat our homes more efficiently, at lower costs during and with local sources during the harsh winter months. During my time in the New York State Assembly and as President and CEO of NYSERDA, I worked closely with community leaders and local small businesses to ensure we remained on the cutting edge of the energy sector and innovation economy – and I am glad to see that tradition continued here today.”
State Senator Neil Breslin said, “I applaud Governor Cuomo, Commissioner Martens and John Rhodes, President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for advancing the Renewable Heat NY program. This initiative will further solidify New York as being a leader in developing a more efficient energy industry that will benefit communities both here in the Capital Region and across this New York State.”
State Senator Betty Little said, “There’s a lot to be gained by growing the renewable wood-fired heating systems sector. We have abundant supply in the Northeast, the product is renewable and not something being imported from overseas. Technology is improving efficiency and reducing pollution. And, it’s creating new job opportunities. This is a great public-private partnership that will benefit communities throughout the state.”
Assemblyman Marc Butler said, "I am pleased to see New York State put renewed emphasis on one of our state’s most reliable and most abundant renewable heating sources. In rural and upstate New York, this initiative by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) promises to help ensure far into the future a clean, proven and sustainable method of heat for our homes, offices and businesses. I am especially pleased that one of our local businesses here in the Mohawk Valley and Central New York, Vincent’s Heating and Fuel Services, is a major part of this initial effort."
Assemblyman John McDonald said, “It is a pleasure to kick off the start of Renewable Heat NY at the home of Evoworld, an international company that makes their products here in Troy. In a time when society wants to do right by the environment and right by their families or businesses, Renewable Heat NY takes a direct approach in achieving those goals, and I am pleased to join those voices working to move this effort forward.”
Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia said, “The Renewable Heat NY initiative is an important step in moving away from antiquated and inefficient heating systems and toward cleaner and greener technologies. We are proud to have NYSERDA and DEC in Troy to announce this new measure and highlight the work being done at Evoworld, Inc. right here in Troy.”
Tony Collins, President, Clarkson University, and co-chair, North Country REDC, said, “The North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) is committed to leading the way for New York State’s green energy economy to thrive. Governor Cuomo’s support of NYSERDA investments in initiatives like Renewable Heat NY will help companies and research universities, like Clarkson, advance the development of new technologies for responsible biomass fuel resources and expansion of jobs in biofuel production and distribution.”
CEO of Evoworld Inc. Lou Okonski said, “At Evoworld in Troy, N.Y., we are manufacturing fully-automatic pellet boiler heating systems for homes, businesses and institutions. Renewable Heat NY will provide the initial incentives necessary for these new technologies to grow in market acceptance and provide fuel cost savings of 40 percent or more for consumers from a renewable domestic fuel source.”
Vice president Sales and Marketing at Econoburn Mark Odell said, “Renewable Heat NY will help grow the high-efficiency cordwood boiler heating market by increasing consumer awareness. These incentives for advanced technology and retirement of older more polluting wood burning equipment provide a better choice for consumers and make for happier neighbors. Econoburn, made in western N.Y., is proud to participate in Renewable Heat NY”
Vincent’s Heating and Fuel Service Owner Laurie Vincent said, "Here at Vincent’s Heating and Fuel Service, we see first-hand the difficulties people face heating their homes. With Renewable Heat NY, the worries of staying warm and affording fuel will be a thing of the past. We can help our customers switch to automatic pellet boiler heating systems for their homes and businesses, and we can deliver pellets in bulk quantities, just like any other fuel, but provide significant savings using a locally made renewable fuel."
Matt McArdle, Chair of the New York Bioenergy Alliance and president, MESA Reduction Engineering and Processing, said, “The New York Bioenergy Alliance welcomes the efforts of Renewable Heat NY to catalyze the high-efficiency and low-emissions wood heating industry. Rural New Yorkers need an alternative to the high price of available fossil fuels and today’s sustainable forestry practices will assure a truly renewable and low cost domestic heating fuel for generations to come.”
Lawrence Farrelly, Managing Member of Advanced Climate Technologies in Schenectady said, “ACT Bioenergy holds the first position in the nation manufacturing the most modern, solid state, computer controlled biomass boiler systems. We also utilize New York based raw material suppliers and sub-contractors in our manufacturing pipeline. Add to that the abundance of statewide manufacturers and local distributors of biomass fuels and it is a positive State economy supporting project. Without doubt, this initiative will provide for more upstate jobs while reducing the operational costs for all participating facilities. Great news for upstate New York.”
Dr. Pat Looney, Chairman of the Sustainable Energy Technologies Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, said, "The direct use of biomass for heating applications has great potential to significantly increase the use of a low carbon, New York-grown renewable resource. It is our hope that this resource will be deployed on a wide scale, employing technologies that become increasingly clean, efficient and cost-effective as this initiative matures. The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory is ready to provide any technical support needed to help New York achieve its renewable heat goals."