NYSERDA and Citizens Energy Announce Completion of 1.4-Megawatt Solar Project to Serve Upstate Cerebral Palsy in Oneida County

Project to Offset Nearly All of Upstate Cerebral Palsy’s Electricity Load

October 24, 2019

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Citizens Energy Corporation today announced the completion of a 1.4-megawatt solar project in the Mohawk Valley. Located in Oneida County, Upstate Cerebral Palsy is the sole beneficiary of the commercial solar project, which supports Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal goals to obtain 70 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030, including the installation of 6,000 megawatts of solar by 2025.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York has positioned itself as one of the fastest growing solar markets in the nation and is helping all New Yorkers realize the benefits of clean renewable energy projects like this one serving Upstate Cerebral Palsy. We are proud to partner with Citizens Energy and Upstate Cerebral Palsy on their environmental stewardship and commitment to reducing emissions in support of the state’s nation-leading climate and clean energy goals.”

Michael Kennedy, Director of Business Development, Citizens Energy said, “Citizens Energy is committed to a renewable energy future that both protects the planet and includes the participation of all sectors of society, including those in need and those who serve them, like our partner Upstate Cerebral Palsy. We have built solar arrays from California to the Carolinas, including the largest community solar project in the country. We’re proud to be soaking up some New York sun and helping a deserving organization save money with clean energy.”

Geno DeCondo, Upstate Cerebral Palsy Executive Director, said, “Over the past seven decades, Upstate Cerebral Palsy has established itself as a leader in providing innovative services for people in need. Upstate Cerebral Palsy is thrilled to partner with Citizens Energy and NYSERDA. The newly constructed 7-acre solar farm will provide discounted electricity to over 50 of our sites. The sites house or provide programs to thousands of people with developmental disabilities and the nearly 2000 staff that support them. With the help of our partners and consulting group, WMR Services LLC, we have been able to partner with Citizens Energy Corporation to achieve cost savings to support our critical programs, and at the same time harness renewable energy that reduces emissions and our carbon footprint.”

NYSERDA, through the NY-Sun program, provided nearly $300,000 in support for the array, which is comprised of 3,600 panels. The project will offset almost all of Upstate Cerebral Palsy’s annual electricity load, providing an estimated savings to the organization of more than $30,000 annually. Located behind the organization’s Barneveld facility, the 1.4-megawatt array will produce over 1.5 million kilowatt-hours annually, the equivalent of taking 184 cars off the road or powering 245 homes annually.

The solar array is owned and operated by Citizens Energy and was developed to contribute to New York State’s renewable energy goals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the company’s 40-year mission of using successful energy ventures to generate revenues to make life’s basic needs, especially energy, more affordable for elderly and low-income households. The company was founded in 1979 by former U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, who continues to serve as its Chairman and President.

Upstate Cerebral Palsy is a multi-faceted health and human services organization that provides a broad range of support and programs for individuals with special needs and their families, across the lifespan. The Organization’s mission is to provide innovative programs and services that support people and create opportunities to fulfill life choices, one person at a time. Upstate Cerebral Palsy is a major provider of comprehensive services to 15,000 individuals annually in Central New York, with over 2,000 employees at over 60 locations.

NY-Sun is Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. Since 2011, solar in New York has increased more than 1,700 percent and leveraged nearly $3.8 billion in private investments. These investments have supported nearly 12,000 people engaged in solar jobs across the state. Businesses and organizations interested in learning more about solar energy can visit the NY-Sun website.

Senator Joseph Griffo said, “It is important that we continue to seek ways to produce energy from as many sources as possible. This solar project will benefit Upstate Cerebral Palsy by helping the organization offset its electrical costs and reduce its carbon footprint in Oneida County.”

Assemblyman Robert Smullen said, "With over 2,000 employees at more than 80 locations, United Cerebral Palsy is a vital part of our community that provides exceptional service to those living with Cerebral Palsy. I commend them for working with NYSERDA and Citizens Energy Corporation on this solar installation that will reduce operating costs and help power United Cerebral Palsy into the future with clean, renewable energy."

New York State's Green New Deal

Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, putting the state on a path to being entirely carbon-neutral across all sectors of the economy and establishing a goal to achieve a zero-carbon emissions electricity sector by 2040, faster than any other state. It builds on New York's unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including a $2.9 billion investment in 46 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector, a commitment to develop nearly 1,700 megawatts of offshore wind by 2024, and 1,700 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2012.

The recently passed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandates the Green New Deal's national leading clean energy targets: nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035, six gigawatts of distributed solar by 2025, and three gigawatts of energy storage by 2030, while calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy. The CLCPA also directs New York State agencies and authorities to collaborate with stakeholders to develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050 and aim to invest 40 percent of clean energy and energy efficiency program resources to benefit disadvantaged communities.

About NYSERDA

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on TwitterLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., FacebookLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., YouTubeLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., or InstagramLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

Media Inquiries