Clean Energy Business

The future of your business relies on new talent

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Looking to increase profitability and achieve greater resiliency? The energy industry faces accelerated technological advancements. As new building systems are introduced and evolve, you need a staff that is ready for future changes. You can create a pipeline of skilled talent and a competitive advantage by hiring clean energy interns.

NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Internship Program is partially funding the placement and salary of skilled interns for eligible, clean energy businesses. Funding is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and the amount is dependent on your businesses’ size:

  • Percent covered for employers with 20 or fewer employees: 90%
  • Percent covered for employers with 21-100 employees: 75%
  • Percent covered for employers with 100 or more employees: 50%

Eligibility Requirements

  • Eligible clean energy businesses Energy efficiency and clean technology businesses, including start-up companies. This can also include business or labor management organizations working on behalf of energy efficiency or clean technology businesses. This does not include academic or government entities.
  • Private-for-profit or private not-for-profit businesses
  • Registered to do business, with a formal office in New York State
  • Provide one or more eligible energy services Provide services related to research, manufacture, design, procurement, installation, operation, commissioning, technical sales, etc. in the following areas: energy efficiency, renewable electric power generation, grid modernization and energy storage, alternative transportation, renewable fuels.

Eligible businesses will be able to hire up to five interns per session and a maximum of 12 interns over the course of the program.

Program Details

Eligible businesses can either choose approved candidates from NYSERDA’s online portal or select your own interns and have them directly apply through the Clean Energy Internship Program.

Internships are for a maximum of 12 weeks. In the fall or spring, interns can work a maximum of 18 hours per week. In the summer, the maximum is 40 hours a week. Intern wages that will be reimbursed can range from the New York State minimum wage at the time of hire to up to $2 above minimum wage.

Read the full funding opportunity for more information about the program, or view frequently asked questions.

Why You Should Consider Hiring Clean Energy Interns

Investing in your future workforce may be good for your business if you are:

  • Managing skilled employees expected to retire in the near future
  • Having difficulty finding qualified candidates in the energy sector
  • Investing in new equipment, systems, and technologies
  • Looking to support job creation in New York’s growing clean energy economy

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can an intern remain at my organization?
An intern will be subsidized for up to 12 weeks of work in one calendar year. They may stay on after the conclusion of a session, but their work will not be subsidized by NYSERDA. There are also restrictions on hiring the same intern in subsequent sessions under this program.

What is the process for reviewing student candidates?
The review of candidates for internships is done exclusively by the host employer, and they may interview and hire candidates with the qualifications that are most suited to their needs. Host Employers approved to participate in the program can gain access to a portal of approved interns. All interns must have applied and been approved through the NYSERDA portal. If you find an intern that you are interested in hiring, please have them apply. NYSERDA will provide final approval to extend an offer to the intern, contingent upon verification of the applicant’s eligibility and the availability of funds.

The cleantech industry is very competitive. I’d like to have my intern sign a non-compete agreement. Is there a policy for non-compete agreements?
The goal of this program is to increase opportunities for students entering the clean energy workforce and improve their prospects for future employment in the industry. A non-compete agreement goes against the spirit of the program, and therefore, at no point shall an intern sign a non-compete agreement. If a Host Employer attempts to execute a non-compete agreement with a subsidized intern, that employer will not be eligible to receive reimbursement through the Internship Program. It is instead suggested that an intern be asked to sign a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement, if necessary, to protect any sensitive information.

My intern left before completing the internship. Can I still hire someone?
Yes. If a hired intern terminates employment during the internship, NYSERDA may at its discretion allow a Host Employer to hire an additional intern and use the remaining funding allocated to the previous intern. Please be aware that any new student selected must first be approved as eligible by NYSERDA, and the Host Employer would then need to submit a signed offer letter for that individual before NYSERDA could issue final approval.

Get Started

Get started by completing the application process and learning more about how the program works. 

Want to learn more? Sign up to stay up-to-date on opportunities for your business. If you have questions about the program, please contact CleanEnergyInternship@nyserda.ny.gov.