New York State is committed to creating a cleaner, more resilient, and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. With a focus on engaging all New Yorkers, NYSERDA launched REVitalize.
REVitalize helps community-based organizations (CBOs) plan for, develop, and implement clean energy projects for the areas they serve. These community-scale clean energy projects can include community solar, district geothermal or biomass, microgrid, and aggregated energy efficiency and weatherization, among other types of projects.
How It Works
NYSERDA awarded four contracts to CBOs that serve low- to moderate-income communities as defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or environmental justice areas, as defined by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
These organizations are receiving funds to procure technical assistance to address key development issues, such as identifying successful models of:
- Community engagement
- Site selection
- Ownership and finance structures
- Customer enrollment
- Mechanics for the allocation of benefits.
NYSERDA is working with CBOs to develop a draft toolkit with guidance on key issues associated with organizing community-scale clean energy projects. The CBOswill test these toolkits and provide feedback. NYSERDA will then finalize the toolkits and make them available to CBOs across the State.
Through REVitalize, CBOs will have access to the assistance and tools to help plan, develop, and implement a clean energy project that’s appropriately sized for their communities. REVitalize will:
- Develop a replicable framework to help low- to moderate-income communities conduct energy planning that is focused on a cornerstone community-scale clean energy project
- Create templates and toolkits based on best practices for communities to access during their clean energy project planning process
- Identify and share innovative models for community ownership and financing of distributed energy resources that can be applied to similar clean energy projects
- Build capacity of CBOs and the areas they serve to develop local clean energy priorities.
With increased access to clean energy projects, communities and consumers will have greater control over their energy source and use.
City of Utica
The City of Utica is taking a phased approach to developing a clean energy system that would increase access to renewable energy and help reduce energy costs for low- to moderate- income residents of the City. A clean energy system leverages a variety of energy technologies such as solar, combined heat and power (CHP), microgrids, storage, and district heating as well as increasing the number of energy efficiency and weatherization projects. As a first step, the City is conducting a feasibility study to install a microgrid at Utica Municipal Housing Authority’s 199 unit Adrean Court with intentions to offer access to the microgrid to adjacent buildings. In addition, the City will be performing weatherization services to the units at Adrean Court.
Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition (BRSC)
BRSC is working with community stakeholders to develop one or more community shared solar projects that will provide access to lower cost renewable energy to low- to moderate -income city residents. BRSC is evaluating site locations and working with the utility company on the interconnection process.
West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT)
WE ACT aspires to increase the amount of renewable energy generating capacity and energy efficiency projects undertaken in Northern Manhattan to help protect the community from higher energy prices and create a resilient energy supply. Initially, WE ACT will be focusing on installing rooftop solar and energy efficiency upgrades on specific building types in Northern Manhattan, such as Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) residential co-ops, residential and commercial buildings owned by mission-driven organizations, and municipal buildings. WE ACT’s geographic target area has a growing portfolio of decentralized solar energy generation making it conducive for siting and building out local interconnection, battery storage, and other microgrid infrastructure.
People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH)
PUSH aims to create a pathway toward community-controlled renewable energy generation, distribution, storage, and control of infrastructure by building on earlier community energy planning and project development efforts in their core development district, the Green Development Zone, on the West Side of Buffalo. Through this effort, PUSH will increase renewable energy resources and improve the resiliency of energy infrastructure on Buffalo’s West Side, with particular attention to commercial districts, institutional buildings, and PUSH’s inventory of affordable rental housing. In addition, PUSH will identify and customize business models that facilitate local engagement through community co-ownership of energy assets and local employment opportunities and strengthen the capacity of grassroots leaders and local stakeholders to research, plan, and implement innovative community-scale clean energy projects.
For more information email REVitalize@nyserda.ny.gov.