Bioenergy, Storage

New York Clean Energy Funding Boost

New York Governor George Pataki recently unveiled US$14.5 million to support 36 distributed generation and combined heat and power (DG and CHP) projects throughout the state. The awards will support projects designed to increase clean, efficient and much-needed generation capacity, and to support the development of improved generation technologies.

Albany, New York – July 28, 2003 [] The 36 New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) projects represent a total investment of US$90.5 million in distributed generation and combined heat and power initiatives when funding for the projects is factored in. These combined heat and power systems will enable commercial, agricultural, and industrial energy users to generate their own electricity, while using waste heat from the electric generation equipment for productive purposes, such as space or water heating. “New York State is committed to promoting advanced technologies such as fuel cells, microturbines and clean generators because they help to protect our environment, improve our energy security and produce positive benefits for our economy,” Governor Pataki said. “By supporting these smart initiatives across the state, we can help to reduce costs for energy consumers, while also helping to protect and enhance the quality of New York’s environment.” Combined heat and power applications provide much greater overall efficiency than centralized power plants deliver by taking advantage of the waste heat, said the release. The overall efficiency of a typical combined heat and power system approaches 75 percent, while the overall efficiency of centralized power plants is about 35 percent due to heat losses at centralized plants, and transmission losses in delivering power from the plant to the customer. “With Governor Pataki’s support, New York State is a national leader in advancing distributed generation technologies and their application in combined heat and power systems,” said NYSERDA Acting President Peter R. Smith. “Since we initiated this program two years ago, there has been tremendous interest in combined heat and power from energy users throughout the State, because the technology provides greater control over energy costs, while also providing additional reliability and potential economic benefits in today’s power market.” As evidence of the interest in combined heat and power, NYSERDA reviewed more than 117 proposals seeking US$38 million in funding for US$277 million worth of projects. The 36 projects were selected after a rigorous technical evaluation of each proposal to determine the likelihood of success as well as the economic and environmental benefits associated with the proposed projects. NYSERDA will award the US$14.5 million pending successful negotiations with each of the 35 winners. Among the projects selected for funding: The Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo will install a 200 kW gas-powered combined heat and power (CHP) fuel cell during renovation of the century year old, Old Lion House. The unit will provide power, district hot water and drive absorption chillers. NYSERDA and the Society are both providing US$548,030 for a total project value of US$1,168,060. New York University will replace a nearly three-decade old CHP system on their campus with the installation of a US$45 million state-of-the-art co-generation plant that will reduce on-site energy costs, harmful air pollutants including greenhouse gas emissions, improve reliability and reduce peak load on the grid. NYSERDA is contributing US$1 million to help NYU install the new CHP system. One of the technology development projects that was selected will be to install three natural gas and two propane-powered Plug Power fuel cell units at various sites upstate. The Agway Energy Products Training Center in Syracuse, the Dormitory Authority headquarters in Albany, and the New Baltimore Service Area on the Thruway south of Albany, will test the new units for a year. The project will concentrate on retrieving data on the operation of fuel cells in areas that are not traditionally served by natural gas pipelines. A full list of the projects selected can be found with the NYSERDA press release at the link below.