NYSERDA Announces $3 Million to Assist Municipal Electric Utilities and Rural Cooperatives With Providing Decarbonized and Resilient Energy Services
Advances New York State’s Commitment to Ensure an Equitable Clean Energy Transition for All New Yorkers
February 18, 2022
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced that $3 million is available through its Climate Resilience Initiative to assist municipal electric utilities and rural electric cooperatives to better provide decarbonized and resilient energy services so that they can more effectively respond to stress events resulting from climate change and extreme weather. Today’s announcement supports an equitable clean energy transition for all New Yorkers and New York’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.
Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “As adverse effects from climate change become more prevalent, we work with and learn from municipal electric utilities and rural electric cooperatives across New York so that we are all better equipped to handle stress events caused by severe storms, floods, or extreme temperatures. Supporting these entities will allow renewable energy integration, the use of innovative technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the identification of vulnerabilities – especially in disadvantaged communities – which will help these communities become much more resilient to climate change.”
Through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) , NYSERDA seeks to support the rapid decarbonization and increased resilience of municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives given their foundational role within communities. Applicants may submit to one or more of the three following categories:
Demonstrations of Net Zero / Deep Decarbonization Solutions
Awards will be offered for proposals demonstrating technologies that can be replicated and scaled to achieve significant reductions in carbon emissions in buildings or transportation sectors supporting the state's goals of carbon neutrality.
The maximum value for each award in this category is $500,000.
Climate Impact Vulnerability Assessments and Resilience Planning
Awards will be offered for technical assistance regarding assessments, analysis, and planning that focuses on:
- Vulnerability assessments and analyses of the electric grid that consider weaknesses in the generation, transmission, or distribution of power to users – including grid failure and evaluation of who it may impact. Additional consideration will be given for specific benefits to disadvantaged communities and critical services (for example hospitals, nursing homes, etc.); and
- Developing plans that reduce the risk of shock or stress events (for example temperature extremes, storm surges, or flooding), or reduce the impacts of such events on people, infrastructure, and services in the municipality or service area.
These plans are required to coordinate across key institutions and communities -- including those responsible for emergency preparedness and response, critical load and demand management, community health, safety, and social services. Plans will also be mandated to identify priorities for resilience action and investment.
The maximum value for each award in this category is $100,000.
Renewables and Innovation Analytics / Pre-Feasibility / Feasibility Studies
Awards will be offered for technology demonstrations or other analysis or study for adopting an innovative climate technology within a municipal utility / rural cooperative service area, with a focus on projects that:
- Conduct analysis, pre-feasibility, or feasibility studies in preparation for developing a renewable and/or innovative climate technology project;
- Demonstrate an innovative technology or process supporting New York’s renewables, decarbonization, and environmental justice goals in support of the Climate Act; and
- Have a high potential for replication – which will drive future investment in resilient and decarbonized communities, as well as significant opportunities for greenhouse gas reduction.
The maximum value for each award in this category is $200,000.
Additionally, to help ensure an equitable clean energy transition, this RFP considers benefits to disadvantaged communities as one of the scoring criteria, since these communities are more likely to rely on outdated infrastructure and have increased risks of shock or stress events in their neighborhoods.
Applications for this solicitation must be submitted by 3 p.m. EST on April 15, 2022.
Executive Director for the Municipal Electric Utility Association (MEUA) Tony Moddafieri said, "Our member municipal systems have historically contributed to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative through wholesale energy purchases. This PON opportunity allows us to utilize some of those RGGI dollars to further our decarbonization efforts in our municipal systems. We thank Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for working with us to make this reality happen."
Village Administrator for Greenport, New York and President of the New York Association of Public Power (NYAPP) Paul Pallas said, “This is an excellent opportunity for members of the New York Association of Public Power (NYAPP) to apply for funding to expand and enhance NYAPP’s significant energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. The municipally and cooperatively owned utilities see this as a great opportunity to expand our partnership with NYSERDA.”
Funding for this program is provided through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in alignment with NYSERDA’s Climate Resilience Initiative. The Climate Resilience Initiative seeks to strengthen the systems, capacity, and investment conditions for resilient, inclusive, and clean energy systems and to integrate and embed resilience considerations into NYSERDA's programs and decision making.
New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $33 billion in 102 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.
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 Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.