Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Thursday, March 25, 2010

NYSERDA announces $4.9 million funding availability for next generation emerging technologies

NYSERDA today announced the availability of up to $4.9 million, over three rounds, for its Next Generation Emerging Technologies for End-Use Efficiency program, including a new Product Commercialization Pilot, that is seeking to integrate traditional technology and product development activities along with support for product commercialization.

NYSERDA Program Opportunity Notice (PON) 1772 is now seeking proposals to develop and demonstrate emerging and innovative technologies or systems that increase the efficiency of end-use energy consumption in buildings, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in buildings, reduce energy demand in NYS, or are of strategic importance to the State’s energy and environmental future.

Examples of preferred technologies include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Energy efficient computing and supporting infrastructure
  • Novel methods to minimize or avoid on-site fossil fuel combustion
  • Advanced high efficiency HVAC equipment
  • Micro CHP systems (less than 5 kW)
  • Energy efficient display technologies
  • Novel methods of detecting and managing efficiency opportunities
  • Methods to manage peak demand
  • Novel sensor or control systems
  • Novel methods or uses of energy storage
  • Efficient methods of power distribution within buildings
The solicitation also seeks to facilitate commercialization of certain technology developed under this PON by providing business development support which will expand sales and marketing efforts, help to raise additional capital, or bolster business infrastructure, in the context of a pilot Product Commercialization Program (PCP) track. The PCP program is aimed at early-stage companies and will provide parallel, integrated and flexible support for technology development, marketing, and corporate development through the early stages of a company’s or product’s life. This may allow the formation and maintenance of teams that bring all aspects of technology commercialization to bear. The primary benefit would be the more rapid commercialization of a product that will lead to sustaining revenue, or venture capital, and a focus for the company’s growth.

Contractors have access to NYSERDA-supported resources such as incubators and entrepreneurs in residence.  There are six NYSERDA-supported clean energy incubators in NYS, including The Clean Tech Center. 

Funding rounds are:
Round 1, April 15th, by 5:00 PM Eastern Time*
Round 2, July 15th, by 5:00 PM Eastern Time*
Round 3, October 15th, by 5:00 PM Eastern Time*

$24 million in funding announced for 206 clean energy projects in communities across NYS

Governor Paterson yesterday announced $24 million in stimulus funding for 206 clean energy and energy efficiency projects in small muncipalities across New York State.  The projects are expected to help the communities reduce energy and operating costs by $3.3 million annually.

The projects were competitively selected through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program and were those that municipalities identified as local priorities to reduce energy costs and increase energy efficiency in buildings, transportation systems, waste management practices, and other operations.  Measures funded include installation of lighting, heating, and cooling systems and controls to increase efficiency; building envelope improvements; renewable energy measures including photovoltaic systems, high efficiency biomass boilers, solar thermal systems, and small wind generators; and recycling programs.

The following table shows the distribution of funds by region:

Funds Awarded
 Long Island  $3,044,158
 Hudson Valley & Capital District  $7,006,081
 Adirondacks  $3,687,183
 Central New York  $3,750,087
 Rochester/Genesee  $3,007,585 
 Buffalo/Western New York  $3,574,695

A detailed table of the energy efficiency and renewable energy projects awarded can be found at:

New York State Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Plan can be found at:

NYS approves municipal loan program for solar

New York State joins 14 other states in the country to pass legislation authorizing municipal loan programs for renewable and energy efficiency improvements on homes and Businesses. Called PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing, these municipal programs allow homeowners to go solar and make efficiency improvements without any upfront cost.

The programs are entirely voluntary.  There is no requirement for either municipalities to create PACE programs or for homeowners to participate in them.  Both the New York Senate and Assembly voted unanimously in favor of amending state law to authorize municipalities to establish PACE programs, and the legislation was signed into law by the Governor.  Recognizing the model's job creation and economic benefits, the federal government has also recently announced that US $454 Million in Recovery Act funds will be made available to support PACE programming.

Under the PACE program, cities or counties set up special clean energy finance districts capable of issuing low-interest bonds. Participating homeowners use the bond money to cover the costs of renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements and pay the loan back through a long-term assessment on their property taxes.This arrangement spreads the cost of those energy improvements out across a 20-year payment plan that is easily transferable to the next property owner if the current resident decides to move. The property tax assessment is typically less than the electricity bill savings generated by the new solar system, delivering immediate cost savings to the homeowner.The programs are entirely voluntary: there is no requirement for either municipalities to create PACE programs or for homeowners to participate in them.

PACE programs are now allowed by state law in California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Ithaca-based Orthogonal wins first place at World's Best Technology Showcase

Ithaca-based Orthogonal, won first place at the annual "World's Best Technology" (WBT) conference this month in Austin, Texas.  The WBTshowcase is the nation's premier event showcasing the largest collection of vetted and mentored companies and technologies emanating from top universities, labs, research institutions, and the private sector from across the country and around the globe. WBT is widely recognized for having the highest quality seed and early stage deals. One in three WBT presenters goes on to secure venture funding, license their technology, or sell their IP outright, representing over $450 million raised to date.began as an idea in early 2002, the WBTshowcase has emerged as the world's largest forum of pre-screened, pre-prepped, undiscovered companies and technologies emanating from top universities, labs, and research institutions from across the country and around the globe. The WBTshowcase represents the collaborative, year-long effort of investors, licensees, and tech commercialization professionals. The WBT is deal-focused and diverse, showcasing companies and technologies that vary by geography, funding source, and type of research institution. Participating technologies are selected by - and presented to - over 100 seasoned venture investors and Fortune 500 licensing scouts representing a variety of industries, each supported by private funding, federal R&D grants or both. Most companies are presenting for the very first time.

Read a great feature story about Orthogonal, which produces organic electronics, at:

The technology was developed at Cornell, with assistance from The National Science Foundation's Materials World Network program.  A $900,000 grant through 2013 is supporting Cornell scientists who have invented a reliable way of processing organic devices with a patent-pending process called orthogonal lithography.  Up until now, a nanofabrication method called photolithography, in which patterns are transferred into a material coated with a light-sensitive photoresist, has been the technology of choice for such products as flat-panel displays.  But it is not an environmentally friendly way to produce such products.  Orthogonal lithography uses an organic photoresist that is soluble in environmentally safe fluorinated solvents.

"We've identified a family of orthogonal solvents that is very different than water and very different than the non-polar organics -- the solvents usually used in these processes," said Chris Ober, co-leader of the grant with George Malliaras, both Cornell professors of materials science and engineering, and Richard Friend of the University of Cambridge.

The grant will fund the group's continued study of increasingly complex organic devices using orthogonal lithography, and indirectly, the funds may aid job creation at Orthogonal Inc., based in Ithaca, which is commercializing the technology.

Read more about the technology:

NY Solar Industries conference coming up: The Business of the sun

NY Solar Industries 2010:  The Business of the Sun
Presented by: New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA)
May 12-13, 2010 - Crowne Plaza City Center, Albany, NY

The NY Solar Industries 2010 Conference is designed to bring together solar energy businesses, leading experts in solar energy policy, representatives of government entities at all levels and key organizational allies for an in-depth discussion of policy options, marketing strategies and technological solutions that will help the solar energy industry in New York continue to thrive. Featured will be educational tracts and presentations from both the solar thermal and photo voltaic sides of the solar industry, incorporating all that is considered the "business of the sun." This ground-breaking educational and networking event will also offer businesses and organizations the opportunity to exhibit their products and services while making connections in virtually the entire solar industry of New York.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Upstate college presidents sign on to climate commitment pledge
Source:  Syracuse Post Standard

Thirteen Central Upstate New York college presidents have signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, pledging to reduce their carbon footprint and introduce sustainability as part of their curriculum.  Colleges have two years to submit climate action plans, but six of the group have already released their action plans: Syracuse University, State University College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Cornell University, Onondaga Community College, State University College at Oswego and Ithaca College.

See link here to their plans (PDF)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NYS Launches "Greenest New Yorker" Contest

I LOVE NEW YORK, (, New York State’s tourism promotion agency, and are looking for people who are doing their part to keep the Empire State green with the first-ever contest to find “The Greenest New Yorker.”

Entries for the “Greenest New Yorker” contest will be judged by a panel of celebrity New Yorkers.  The Grand Prize winner will be announced on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, at a special press conference held by I LOVE NEW YORK. The winner will receive an I LOVE NEW YORK Green Getaway, which includes a three-day, two-night getaway package for two people to one of New York’s Top Ten Green Destinations.

To apply, contestants can log onto, and tell I LOVE NEW YORK why they deserve the title of “Greenest New Yorker.” To be considered, New York State residents will need to illustrate a commitment to and leadership in protecting the environment while utilizing its natural resources.

NYS DEC seeking enviromental excellence award nominations

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation - NYS Environmental Excellence Awards Program Submission Deadline: May 21, 2010

The NYS DEC recognizes businesses, governments, not-for-profit organizations, educational institutions and individuals in New York State that are achieving environmental excellence through innovative and environmentally sustainable practices or partnerships.

Submit a nomination.  Download the Application:

Green Business Expo this week: The biggest of its kind in NYS

Exhibit space is sold out for the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce Green Business Showcase, but there are still plenty of tickets left to attend.  More than 7,000 attendees are expected for the event March 25 from 9 am to 5 pm at the Center of Progress Building at the New York State Fairgrounds.

Featured this year is a green student science fair featuring "great green ideas that can change the world"  and a green car show, featuring cool clean, green cars.

Tickets to attend are available at the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce or at the door.

Students bringing "Great Green Ideas" to Green Expo

The 2010 Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce Green Business Showcase features regional high school students presenting "Great Green Ideas That Can Change the World" at the largest green science fair in the state, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 25 at the Americraft Center of Progress Building at the New York State Fairgrounds. 

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry is coordinating the event through its Sustainability and Green Entrepreneurship (SAGE) Project. Partners in the event are the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, The Clean Tech Center, The Tech Garden and Creative Core partners.

High school and college students from across Upstate New York will compete for $600 in cash prizes for ideas based on sustainability and green technology.  They will be part of a Green Innovation Exposition that is expected to draw more than 7,000 people.  Joining them will be more than 300 businesses that will take part in the business expo. 

The Green of the Crop

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the Creative Core green team is working with The Syracuse Post Standard to highlight the Central Upstate New York region’s greenest endeavors. The competition launched in the March issue of the Post Standard’s Green CNY publication ( and is hosted on a specially created web site:

Categories include:
  • Businesses 
  • Educational and Community Organization
  • Individuals or Households
  • Inventor, Innovator or Entrepreneur
The competition is open to the public. All nominees must currently live in the Central Upstate New York region (The Creative Core: Cayuga, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Seneca, St. Lawrence, and Tompkins counties).

Submissions to the competition are due by April 9th, 2010 (5pm est.). Complete submissions must include a brief description (200 words or less) on why the person, business or school/community group being nominated is the worth of the title Green of the Crop.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Green Building is the solution

Kudos to the U.S. Green Building Council New York Upstate Chapter and SUNY ESF for an outstanding 8th Annual Green Building Conference, held this month at the OnCenter in Syracuse.  Well over 200 green building professionals came from across the state to learn about innovation happening "at the speed of green."

As of March 2010, there are nearly 27,000 LEED Registered Projects, more than 4,530 LEED Certified Projects and more than 140,200 LEED Professionals, according to the U.S. GBC.  In the residential sector, there are over 17,000 registered projects and more than 2,600 certified.  The Upstate chapter, which organized the conference, encompasses 53 counties in NYS and Berkshire County in Massachusetts.

Greeting conference attendees was Rick Fedrizzi, U.S. GBC President and CEO, who shared his perspective on how we are moving from the "Me Generation" to the "Re-Generation"  when it comes to meeting the energy and climate challenge.  Featured speaker and author Sarah Susanka captivated the audience with her remarks on "Not So Big:  The First Step in Sustainability for Home, Community and Life," inspired by her popular book, "The Not So Big House."

Conference tracks included:
  • Green Housing and Communities
  • Building Science, Systems and Integrated Design
  • Energy Efficiencies and Renewable Energy

New Headquarters for USGBC NY Upstate Chapter
The newly dedicated SyracuseCoE located at 727 East Washington Street in Syracuse, New York, is now the official headquarters of the U.S. Green Building Council New York Upstate Chapter.

For more information and a calendar of events:

Great Lakes Sustainable Energy Consortium brings bi-national meeting to Syracuse

Congratulations to Syracuse University and the SyracuseCoE for hosting the Great Lakes Sustainable Energy Consortium bi-national meeting this month to discuss growing the clean energy economy in Upstate New York and the Province of Ontario.  The consortium, which is focused on research, development and commercialization of renewable energy technologies and systems, met in Syracuse to discuss research advancements that can be put to work in an economic development framework.  Leading the discussion on the Canadian side were the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo and Queen's University at Kingston.

The conference focused on such wide-ranging topics as biomass production to replace coal in cement manufacturing, woody biomass and wood pellets, smart grid challenges and opportunities, and regional initiatives.  Participants included academic researchers, utility experts and economic developers from both side of the border.

The event built on the work of the 1000 Island Energy Research Forum (TIERF), which was held in the fall of 2009 to discuss sustainable energy strategies for Canada and the U.S. 

Read more about the consortium -- including its mission, members and areas of research at:

It's Spring. It's Green Jobs and Green NY

It's spring, so think green.  Green Jobs - Green NY is a statewide program to promote energy efficiency and the installation of clean technologies to reduce energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program, administered by NYSERDA,  will support sustainable community development and create opportunities for green jobs.

At a glance, the program:
  • Provides $112 million in funds, part of which will be used for a revolving loan fund to finance eligible projects.
  • Authorizes NYSERDA to establish a program for the performance of energy audits and energy efficiency retrofits or improvements for residential, small business, and not-for-profit property owners.
  • Requires the selection of outreach, enrollment, and other related Program support services through a competitive process.
  • Establishes an Advisory Council to advise NYSERDA on program design and implementation.
The program will provide energy audits and energy efficient upgrades to eligible applicants based on a sliding scale. Examples include
  • Weather stripping and caulking
  • Repairing and replacing heating or cooling systems
  • Thermostat upgrades
  • Water heater repair and replacement
  • Repair and replacement of storm windows
  • Permanent windows and exterior doors
  • Repair or replacement of major household appliances
  • Installation of thermal solar heat or hot water systems
  • Insulation
  • Replacement of inefficient light bulbs and fixtures 
  • Fuel switching to convert an electrically-heated building to a more efficient heating
 NYSERDA will work closely with the NYS Department of Labor and partner with community-based organizations, workforce development organizations, and labor organizations to provide the necessary workforce training to support the program. 

For more information:

National Grid and NYSERDA sponsor Energy Efficiency Expo

National Grid Energy Efficiency Conference link

National Grid and NYSERDA are sponsoring an Energy Efficiency Expo on March 30 at the Turning Stone Resort.

The event features speakers on various topics related to clean energy and energy efficiency and also includes exhibits by Upstate New York companies engaged in efficiency projects.

Learn more and register here.

NYISO on the Smarter, Cleaner, Greener Grid

NYISO Hosts Symposium on the Future of the Grid
April 27 Event to Focus on Making the Grid Smarter, Cleaner and Greener

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) is hosting a symposium, Planning the Sustainable Grid, that will bring together experts from across the country to discuss critical issues in electric energy and grid reliability.  Panel discussions at the symposium will feature energy, planning and environmental experts, and will focus on:
  • Development of broader regional markets for wholesale electricity 
  • The electric industry and the carbon constrained economy 
  • Enhanced interregional planning for the electric system and integration of clean and renewable energy resources
Symposium attendees will include policymakers and regulators, energy sector professionals, legal and financial advisors, economists, energy developers, large energy users, environmental managers and consultants, news media representatives and members of business organizations and nonprofit groups.

The event is free to attend. However, early registration is encouraged due to limited space available. If interested, registration is through the NYISO’s symposium website,, or by calling NYISO at (518) 356-6274.

The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) is a not-for-profit corporation that began operations in 1999. The NYISO operates New York’s bulk electricity grid, administers the state’s wholesale electricity markets and conducts comprehensive planning for the state’s bulk electricity system.

Sunoco expected to open Northeast Biofuels ethanol plant by mid 2010

David Sexton of Sunoco outlined company plans for R&D related to new types of fuel at today's CNY Biotechnology Symposium, including a timeline to open one of the largest ethanol facilities in the east later this year in Central Upstate New York.  "The fuel business in this country has never been more dynamic, or involved more R&D," he told the audience of more than 200 academic and industry leaders who attended the event.

Sunoco purchased the former Northeast Biofuels plant, a $200 million project in Volney, NY, for just $8.5 million in 2009 and plans to invest an additional $15 to $20 million to restart production in the first half of 2010.  With an expected production of 100 million gallons of ethanol per year, it will supply approximately 20% of Sunoco's annual ethanol requirements.  "This was a low cost opportunity to enter the growing biofuels market," said Sexton, who noted that the company is also exploring the feasibility of developing a cellulosic refinery at the site.

"Sunoco has a four prong-strategy," he said.  "Improve our competitive cost position, maximize our operational performance, optimize our asset portfolio, and maintain financial flexibility and discipline."  The Central Upstate New York ethanol plant moves the company in that direction, as the company looks to diversify its mix.  According to Sexton, oil demand peaked in 2007 at 135 billion gallons of gas per year, and the company is seeking alternatives as part of a cost strategy to meet government mandates to develop new kinds of fuels.

Academic and industry leaders gather at CNY Biotechnology Symposium

Academic and industry leaders gathered today for an Upstate Biotechnology Symposium sponsored by the CNY Biotechnology Research Center and SUNY ESF.  Among the highlights of the symposium was a preview of the stunning design for the new research center by King and King Architects and the S/L/A/M Collaborative. 

The Central New York Biotechnology Research Center — a collaboration of SUNY Upstate Medical Center and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry — is planning a $20 million, 50,000 square-foot building, now in design phase, with occupancy expected in late 2010 or early 2011.  With space to house between 20 and 30 companies in state of the art wet-lab/office modules, it will target spin-off companies and other research and strategic partners of SUNY Upstate, SUNY ESF, Syracuse University, and SUNY Morrisville.

The facility will accommodate industrial activity in medical biotechnologies, including human therapeutics and biodevices, as well as industrial, agricultural, and environmental biotechnologies, such as bioprocessing/bioproducts, bioremediation and biofuels. The CNY BRC will be located within walking distance of two other incubators -- The Syracuse Technology Garden and SU's CASE Center Incubation Program) -- as well as the NYS-supported Syracuse Center of Excellence in Energy and Environmental Systems which cut the ribbon on its $41 million new facility earlier this month.

The Clean Tech Center presents Cornell Webinar: Exploring the green economy

The Clean Tech Center ( is teaming with Cornell's Community and Rural Development CaRDI program and the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD) to present a webinar, "Exploring the Green Economy" as part of a "Sustainable Communities" series, launching Tuesday, March 23 from 2 pm to 3:30 pm.  The next webinar, on May 25, is "Green Entrepreneurship as a strategy for local economic and community development."  The program will examine the clean energy economy, drivers and resources, and consider "what's at stake."  Economic developers and community planners from across NYS are participating in the session, which will be available on the CaRDI website:

Ithaca College becomes charter member of STARS

Ithaca College has signed on to become a charter member of the Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS) developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).  Through the new program, the College plans to objectively measure and chart its program across a breadth of campus-wide sustainability areas -- from curriculum, to operations and infrastructure.

Ithaca College also recently unveiled an on-line professional Sustainability Leadership certificate program through its Division of Graduate and Professional Studies.  To read more about that program:

To learn more about Ithaca College's many sustainability programs:

Cornell's 100 MPG X-car ready to hit the road

Read the original story at:

Engines are revving for the prestigious international Automotive X prize competition, and Cornell's 100+ MPG team is ready to race. The New York DMV this week gave Cornell's plug-in hybrid car the green light, passing its salvage vehicles inspection to be eligible for registration in New York -- a requirement to compete and to test in real driving situations.

Cornell's 100+ MPG Team is the only university team competing in the mainstream class of vehicles in the legendary Automotive X Prize Competition, which starts later this spring. Cornell will face off against about 20 other cars at Michigan International Speedway to vie for a $5 million prize. Another $5 million will go to the alternative fuel vehicle class winner. The competition's purpose is to inspire next-generation technologies for fuel efficiency by requiring participants to build cars that get the equivalent of 100 miles to the gallon.

The Cornell car is a regional effort. Instructors and students from Morrisville State College, which has a highly rated auto-body program, helped the Cornell team fabricate sheet metal panels as well as the vehicle's firewall, and part of the exhaust system.

Check out the team's YouTube page for recent video footage:

A coat that can charge a cell phone? Cornell student debuts design

What's the future of fashion?  How about a coat that can charge cell phone, iPod, or MP3 player?  Cornell student Abbey Liebman '10 has designed a solar-powered jacket that captures the sun's rays to charge cell phones, iPods and other handheld devices.  It debuted this month at the Cornell Design League Fashion Show ... read about it here:

NYSERDA commits $8 million to develop and commercialize 19 NYS battery and energy storage technology projects

Projects Support the Work of NY-BEST, New York’s Consortium to Grow the Energy Storage Industry in New York State

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded $8 million this month to help develop or commercialize 19 cutting-edge energy storage projects that will strengthen New York’s standing as a national leader in the energy storage industry.  The awards were made to companies and universities across New York that are involved in advanced research and development of energy storage applications that could benefit transportation, utility Smart Grid applications, renewable energy technologies, and other industries.  The 19 projects will leverage $7.3 million in cost-sharing by recipients for a total of $15.3 million in funding.

The New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST™) is an industry-focused coalition working to further the development and manufacture of an advanced battery and energy storage sector in New York State by capitalizing on New York’s existing broad base of energy storage companies and research centers.

Funding will support projects in two categories:  Industry-led near-term commercialization partnerships, and technology development

Industry-Led Commercialization Partnerships: $4.8 million
  • General Electric Co. (Schenectady) is developing improvements to its sodium metal halide batteries for use in a new generation of cleaner locomotives and stationary applications to smooth intermittent renewable power generation as it interconnects with the grid and critical load back-up power and other applications.  NYSERDA funding, $2.5 million.

  • Ultralife Corporation, Newark (Wayne County) is integrating battery and ultra-capacitors (an electronic energy-storage device) on a common power circuit serving two renewable-energy generation sources.  This will enable increased renewable-energy contributions to the grid.  Also, the system can provide backup electricity during an outage and, during normal operation, allow customers to draw on the stored energy to reduce both their peak electric grid demand and the utility charges associated with peak demand. NYSERDA funding, $2.4 million.
Technology Development:  $3.2 million.
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy) is developing next-generation lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. NYSERDA funding, $200,000.

  • Ioxus (Oneonta), under three projects, is improving its ultracapacitor performance through developing a novel electrode-electrolyte interface, using nanostructured materials in the electrodes, and developing a new high density electrode material. NYSERDA funding$600,000.

  • College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the University at Albany is developing electrolytes to improve the performance of ultra-capacitors. NYSERDA funding, $200,000.

  • Hollingsworth and Vose, Co., Easton (Washington County) is developing an advanced separator for valve-regulated lead-acid batteries. NYSERDA funding, $200,000.

  • City University of New York, under two projects, is developing a novel nickel-zinc battery that uses low-cost materials and technologies to improve the performance of ultra-capacitors. NYSERDA funding, $349,597.

  • Cornell University (Ithaca) is developing non-flammable battery electrolytes with improved temperature and voltage performance. NYSERDA funding, $200,000.

  • General Motors (Honeoye Falls, Monroe County) is developing materials for improved lithium-ion battery electrodes for automotive applications. NYSERDA funding $196,090.

  • Impact Technologies (Rochester) is developing a novel method to increase the lifetime of batteries by assessing battery health using in-cell measurement. NYSERDA funding, $99,766.

  • Cerion Enterprises (Rochester) is developing innovative materials for next-generation lithium-ion batteries, which are used in automotive applications and in consumer electronics.  NYSERDA funding, $200,000.

  • Rochester Institute of Technology is developing methods to recycle and reuse lithium-ion batteries minimizing waste streams to landfills and maximizing reclamation. NYSERDA funding, $195,869.

  • Brookhaven National Laboratory, SUNY Binghamton, and SUNY Buffalo are partnering under three projects to develop improved batteries for use in stationary grid scale energy storage applications, including, lithium-air, lithium-ion, and lithium-titanate batteries. NYSERDA funding, $552,890.

  • SUNY Binghamton is developing lithium air storage systems that could have applications in vehicle or grid systems. NYSERDA funding, $200,000.

NYSERDA Commits $100 Million over Next Two Years to Improve Energy Efficiency of Data Centers and Manufacturers

For more information from NYSERDA:
New York has the nation’s second largest concentration of data centers—the centralized hubs that control the flow of computer information.  Recent studies conducted by Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that New York data centers spend nearly $600 million per year on energy costs and projected that their energy consumption could double in three to five years.

Over the next two years, New York State will provide over $100 million through its Industrial and Process Efficiency program to help data centers and manufacturers control their energy costs and improve their competitiveness, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA.  Funding will support energy studies and capital improvements that will increase energy efficiency and productivity and reduce waste.   

While NYSERDA offers incentives for all business sectors to retrofit existing buildings or to incorporate energy efficiency measures into new buildings, this new funding is being targeted specifically for data centers and manufacturers, which are among the largest consumers of energy and have significant potential for efficient growth.

To ensure the widest possible access to these energy efficiency funds, NYSERDA has awarded three companies approximately $2 million each to help manufacturers and data centers identify cost-effective energy savings options and educate these businesses on available funding.  The companies are Clough Harbour & Associates (CHA) (Albany), Energy & Resource Solutions (ERS) (New York), and Willdan Energy Solutions (New York).

In 2009, NYSERDA invested approximately $4 million to improve the energy efficiency of the manufacturing and data center industries, reducing their energy consumption by nearly 41 million kilowatt hours of electricity—the equivalent of supplying nearly 6,300 single family homes with electricity for an entire year.

NYS Governor Urges Legislative Leaders to Reform Power for Jobs Program

Governor David A. Paterson today urged for meaningful reform of the Power for Jobs program to protect existing jobs and create more opportunities for work in New York State. In a letter to Legislative Leaders, the Governor outlined the urgent need to reform the existing Power for Jobs and related programs, which have supported more than 300,000 existing jobs in New York, but have done little to attract new jobs to the State. Failure to produce comprehensive reform will cause the existing program benefits to expire, will put the livelihood of many in jeopardy, and will miss an opportunity to create thousands of new jobs.

The State's Power for Jobs and related low-cost power programs administered by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) will expire in less than two months. The program is considered one of the most critical job retention tools in New York, but year-to-year uncertainty created by the need to renew legislation undermines the ability to attract new business and jobs.

Current programs expire on May 15, 2010, and if no action is taken on new legislation prior to April 15, NYPA will need to begin notifying existing customers of the programs – which employ more than 300,000 New Yorkers – that their benefits will expire. The Governor's Office has been working with NYPA to develop a comprehensive reform proposal. Following a series of legislative roundtable discussions on the future of the Power for Jobs programs led by Assembly Energy Chair Kevin Cahill and then-Senate Energy Chair Darrel Aubertine, both houses have introduced bills that will create a permanent program. It is also expected that Senate Energy Chair George Maziarz will submit a proposal to create a permanent program. Based on the legislation submitted thus far, the respective bills share some common principles:

  • The annual one-year extensions of the Power for Jobs and Energy Cost Savings Benefit programs have not provided sufficient certainty to businesses to encourage new investment or expansion in New York.
  • A permanent program that provides long-term power contracts to eligible customers is necessary to stabilize existing businesses and institutions, promote economic growth, and create jobs for New Yorkers.
  • Using NYPA's low-cost hydropower is necessary to create a stable, long-term economic development program.
  • Impacts to residential customers who currently receive discounted power from NYPA should be mitigated.
The Governor's proposal would create a new statewide program called Energize New York, a 900 megawatt (MW) economic development program that would provide fixed price long-term power contracts to existing and new qualifying businesses and institutions in the State that agree to maintain minimum levels of employment and/or make investments in New York. At 900 MW, Energize New York would be approximately 30 percent larger than the existing Power for Jobs and Energy Cost Savings Benefit programs and would dedicate 200 MW for attracting new business investment and expansion in order to create thousands of new jobs. Current customers of the Power for Jobs and Energy Cost Savings Benefit programs would be allowed to continue their benefits at 2009 levels for one year while the new program is designed by NYPA. The new program would commence in 2011,and current customers as well as new businesses and institutions would be able to apply for long-term contracts.

Cornell's CCMR offers Facilities 101

Facilities 101 is an in-depth introduction to the laboratories, equipment, and staff managed by  Cornell University's Center for Materials Research (CCMR) and made available to industry. This one-day course provides an opportunity to meet one on one with the technical staff managing these facilities, take a walking tour of the labs, see demonstrations of the equipment, and discuss your particular interests with an expert.

Who should attend: Technical directors, product managers, engineers, technicians, and consultants looking to better understand Cornell's capabilities in materials analysis, processing, and problem-solving.

If you are interested in CCMR's capabilities and are unable to attend, please contact CCMR's CNY outreach partner, the Central New York Technology Development Organization (TDO) at (315) 425-5144 to explore how CCMR can assist your business. The TDO is a not-for-profit economic development organization receiving significant financial support from the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR), New York's high-technology economic development agency, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). TDO serves as NYSTAR®'s designated Regional Technology Development Center for Central New York and is one of nearly 350 MEP locations across the country.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

EPA to look at hydrofracking

Read the full original story on line at The Wall Street Journal

The Obama administration today said it is moving to gain information about a key oil and natural-gas production technique that is viewed as essential for boosting gas supplies but that critics fear could contaminate drinking water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched a study to determine whether "hydraulic fracturing" is contaminating water supplies. The technique breaks open underground rock, releasing the gas within.

The issue has been drawing the federal government's attention as new techniques allow access to vast gas supplies in underground rock formations known as shale. The shale regions -- concentrated in states including Texas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and New York -- have become a focus in the energy world, with major companies snapping up shale-gas developers. Companies such as Chesapeake Energy Corp. and XTO Energy Inc. say the supplies could multiply the available domestic reserves of a resource that produces fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than coal and oil.

Read the rest here ...

Green cars come to Syracuse Green Business Expo

The cars of the future will run cleaner and more efficiently, as exciting new technologies are being developed by automakers, engine manufacturers and component suppliers.  Some of those technologies like hybrid and electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cells are being developed right here in Upstate New York.  The “green car” showcase is a glimpse into the future and a new breed of vehicles that will feature better fuel economy and contribute to lower greenhouse gases and better clean air quality.

General Motors Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle
Mary Neelin GM Electrochemical Energy Labs in Honeoye Falls, NY
GM Fuel Cell Automobile - Syracuse Chamber Business ShowChevrolet Fuel Cell is an electric vehicle, powered by GM's fourth generation fuel cell system.  The electric motor traction system provides the vehicle with instantaneous torque and the vehicle's performance is smooth and quiet.  The ability to start and operate in subfreezing temperatures is a major advancement in fuel cell technology.  The Fuel Cell vehicle is fueled with hydrogen which emits zero greenhouse gases, only water vapor, reducing the dependence on petroleum.  Moreover, the vehicles can go up to 200 miles per fill-up.  Fuel Cell technology is seamlessly integrated with all of the comfort and safety of Chevrolet's production gasoline vehicle.

GM’s Project Driveway is the largest market test of fuels cells ever by placing 100 fuel cells with real drivers for real use in New York City, Washington D.C.; and California.  The vehicles are given to the general public free of charge including the insurance and fuel.  In exchange we ask for the driver’s feedback what they liked and disliked about the vehicle, what they would change, technical input and performance.
In 2008, Green Car Journal awarded the Chevrolet Fuel Cell with the Green Car Vision award.  The fuel cell vehicle won the award over several other nominees.
Additional Features:
• Acceleration  0 – 60 mph in 12 seconds
• Top Speed 100 mph
• Full 4 wheel ABS
• Payload capacity 750 lbs
• Zero Emissions
• OnStar

The Ford Escape PHEV:
Daniel Murphy , National Grid, Energy Solutions Services
Ford Esccape PHEV NAt Grid - Syracuse Chamber Business ShowNational Grid is participating in a collaborative program with Ford and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to demonstrate a Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV).
The PHEV is one of 21 pre-production plug-in hybrid Ford Escapes that are part of the Ford and EPRI partnership. The program has paired the PHEV Escapes with utilities and other partners for demonstration and testing, and marks the first major effort between utilities and an automaker on PHEV passenger vehicles.
The demonstration program includes detailed studies and testing in fleets and residential customer households to collect data, support market research, and perform customer and public education and outreach. However, National Grid is the only participating utility in the EPRI collaborative program that will extend the real-world use of the Escape PHEV to key customers and stakeholders.

It is anticipated that the tests and studies resulting from the program will provide insight into the impact of electric vehicles on the distribution system, the interface between vehicle and smart grid, and the potential market penetration of PHEVs. Findings from the program will also inform stakeholders as they establish requirements and facilitate future PHEV integration with smart grid.

The Ford Escape PHEV:
• Charges in 6-8 hours using a household outlet
• Operates in two modes:  electric drive, and electric drive with assist from the gasoline (E-85) engine
• Can be powered for about 30 miles on a single charge in electric drive mode
• Is not limited in driving distance by the lithium-ion battery’s level of charge, because once the battery has been depleted, the vehicle operates as a  Ford Escape Hybrid
• Can reach up to 120 mpg, and can also operate on E-85 ethanol fuel

Natural Gas Powered Honda Civic GX
Barry Carr, Clean Communities of CNY, a member of the US DOE Clean Cities Program
Honda Civic GX Clean - Syracuse Chamber Business ShowThe Honda Civic GX Natural Gas Vehicle is a production vehicle built in the US, and has been chosen by the U.S. EPA as the “Cleanest Production Vehicle on Earth” and  the "Greenest Vehicle" for the seventh consecutive year by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE).  The vehicle has a range of 220-280 miles on a tank of compressed natural gas that is currently priced at $1.10-$1.79 per GGE (gas gallon equivalent).  For owners with natural gas at home, you can refuel your vehicle in your garage overnight with a home refueling appliance known as “Phill.” Natural Gas powered vehicles utilize a cleaner, less expensive fuel that is available domestically, and can be produced renewably at landfills and farms.

Other features include:
• Advanced Technology Partial-Zero-Emission Vehicle (AT-PZEV)[3]
• Fueled by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for nearly zero emissions
• HOV lane access in many states
• Qualifies for a $4000 Federal Tax Credit as an Alternative Fueled Vehicle
• 113-hp, 1.8-Liter, 16-Valve, SOHC i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine

Vita DeMarchi & Eckardt C. Beck; Managing Partners, Synapse Partners and Co-Founders, Synapse Sustainability Trust
Cuse Car - Syracuse Chamber Business ShowCuseCar will be featuring a Toyota Prius Hybrid equipped with trickle charger, along with an EV PlugSite  charging station.
CuseCar is a not-for-profit community-based transportation program with a car-sharing element whose mission is to provide a sustainable alterative to enhance public and private transportation options.  CuseCar’s mission is to provide environmental, social and economic benefits to its members and the community.  CuseCar is dedicated to the deployment of alternative fuel infrastructure to promote the use of alternative fueled vehicles and displace carbon and petroleum usage, thus lowering the community’s carbon footprint.
EVPlugSite provides a comprehensive information gateway to deploy and manage electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Utilizing a web based reservation system electric vehicle owners can access and schedule a time and parking location equipped with electric charging infrastructure while on the go.

CuseCar and EvPlugSite will deploy up to 75 electric charging destination stations throughout Onondaga County with a concentration in downtown Syracuse.  Electric vehicleTrickle Charger charging stations will be located at many convenient locations; the airport, downtown parking lots and garages and a variety of shopping and tourist destinations.

• Your one-stop shop to power your electric or plug-in hybrids.
• Locate and obtain instant access to all available charging stations.
• Choose from flexible and cost efficient subscription plans.
• Drive more. Save more. Pollute less.

This electric vehicle charging station deployment program will begin in Spring 2010 to pave the road for energy efficient infrastructure to accommodate emerging state of the art alternative transportation vehicles. 
CuseCar and EvPlug Site are affiliated with Synapse Sustainability Trust; initiatives of Synapse Partners.

Clarkson University President elected to board of NYS Smart Grid Consortium

Clarkson University President Tony Collins has been elected to the board of directors of the New York State Smart Grid Consortium. Clarkson is a member of the consortium, which is a not-for-profit, public service partnership founded to promote broad statewide implementation of a safe, secure and reliable smart electric power grid.

"Our university has a strong history of power engineering, as well as a longtime partnership with National Grid, whose former executive director, Robert Catell, is chairman of the consortium," said Collins. "It makes good sense for us to be involved in a consortium promoting an issue that is so critical to our state's citizens and its economy.

Collins is a regional and national advocate for higher education - industrial partnerships that couple research discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise for commercialization and economic development. With a focus on advancing sustainable energy solutions and environmental technology innovation, he serves as the president of the Seaway Private Equity Corporation that invests in new technology companies based in St. Lawrence County, N.Y., and on the board of the Solar Energy Consortium, which mobilizes related resources in New York.

He is also the vice chair of New York’s Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities and the chair of the national Association of Independent Technological Universities’ public relations committee. Collins serves on the boards of the Business Council of New York State, the Central New York Metropolitan Development Authority, the Essential New York Initiative, the New York State Environmental Quality Center, the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environment and Energy Systems, and on the board of advisors of Sriya Innovations, Inc.

The New York State Smart Grid Consortium is the only organization of its scale in the country that is committed to representing all major contributors across the smart grid chain -- from utilities, market operators, industry, to academia, government and end-users. It collectively harnesses the unique resources of partners to help define and achieve its strategic smart grid vision. For more information, see