Photo: PAUL BUCKOWSKI, Albany Times Union
The New York Power Authority has awarded $1.4 million to the city of Albany for three programs designed to cut its energy usage — including one that will tie 22 city buildings into a statewide energy monitoring center at SUNY Polytechnic Institute.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and NYPA CEO Gil Quiniones announced the award Tuesday at the authority’s energy operations center inside SUNY Poly’s ZEN building. The 5,500 square-foot office monitors the real-time energy usage of 7,500 state-owned buildings through a program known as the New York Energy Manager.
Albany is one of several upstate cities that have been working with NYPA to improve their energy efficiency and competing for grant funding from the authority to run cutting edge energy efficiency programs that could provide a model for other cities across the state.
NYPA’s efforts are part of a statewide mandate to reduce energy consumption at state facilities by 20 percent by 2020. The New York Energy Manager facility was created in part to oversee that project, and the $1.4 million awarded to Albany was part of a competition among four upstate cities that provided up to $500,000 to qualified projects.
“It is encouraging to see the city of Albany embracing projects that save taxpayer dollars and protect our environment,” Hochul said. “The three winning Albany-based energy projects demonstrate how New York State leverages public investment in clean energy to reduce harmful emissions and continue to take a leading role in combatting climate change.”
The $1.4 million will go to offset the $2 million cost of three projects being undertaken by the city of Albany, including the installation of sub-meters to allow the city to connect 22 buildings into the New York Energy Manager; the installation of electric vehicle charging stations and funding a city vehicle optimization study, and funding various energy efficiency upgrades to city buildings.
The projects are supposed to save the city $240,000 a year, providing a 2.5 year payback window on the spending.
NYPA also funds a city energy manager position for Albany, a job held by Kevin Luteran, who reports directly to Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan.