The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority will provide $2.8 million to support a number of renewable energy and efficiency projects throughout the state’s Niagara County.ALBANY, New York, US, 2001-09-15 [SolarAccess.com] The projects include nearly US$500,000 to Canrom Photovoltaics, Inc. of Niagara Falls, to establish a research and development laboratory and to set up a pilot-scale production facility to manufacture cadmium telluride-based solar modules. The 2,500 square foot facility has been completed. Another $250,000 has been earmarked for the Newfane Central School District for the installation of a ground source heat pump system to service an 18,000 square foot addition to an elementary school. The system will help the school avoid $65,000 in annual energy expenses for the new facility, by providing heat, air conditioning and hot water from solar energy in the ground. “Renewable energy and energy efficiency are essential tools for New York State to address concerns about energy supplies and increasing energy prices,” says NYSERDA president William Flynn. “In addition to lowering energy costs and helping to preserve our environment, these projects are helping companies and communities in the Niagara region to remain competitive and create new opportunities for job growth.” The investment is part of a concerted effort to revitalize the Niagara region and stimulate economic development through Governor Pataki’s Niagara Falls Interagency Task Force. The projects also include $668,700 to support an energy performance contract in the City of Niagara Falls. NYSERDA will provide incentives to the Vestar, an energy service company, to identify cost-effective energy efficiency improvements in several buildings in the city. Under ESCO performance contracts, NYSERDA provides incentives to lower the costs of making improvements. Customers usually pay for the improvements from the energy savings. Another $545,500 will support the New York Power Authority to conduct a study of ten buildings owned by Niagara County, while $450,000 will support an energy performance contract at Niagara County Community College. It will provide $112,200 for two Tops Markets in the region, which is part of a larger contract at 18 stores throughout the state. Almost $104,000 will support energy efficiency work at the E.I. Dupont facility in Niagara Falls, while $96,375 will modify the Niagara County sewer filtration system and $83,100 will go to the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission to support a new construction project. NYSERDA’s funds will be used to offset the incremental cost associated with installing more efficient equipment into the project. NYSERDA is a public benefit corporation that supports research to develop technologies to save energy and reduce emissions in New York state. It administers the Energy $mart(sm) program to lower electricity costs by encouraging energy efficiency under electric deregulation. All Energy $mart programs are funded by a System Benefits Charge established by the Public Service Commission and paid by electric distribution customers of participating utilities.