New York Loves Alternative Energy

America’s quest for energy independence is evident in New York’s upstate Capital Region. The area is home to more than 20 high-tech energy companies and has emerged as a national center of leadership in alternative, renewable, and clean energy development.

Albany, New York – January 13, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] New York will accelerate the pursuit of clean, Renewable Energy alternatives in 2003, spurred on by a newly formed consortium of capital region energy companies. A plan for a US$20 million Alternative Energy Test Farm at Albany Nanotech (ANT), the nanoelectronics R&D complex at the University at Albany tops the agenda. The Renewable Energy effort received an added boost from Gov. George E. Pataki. In his 2003 State of the State address, the Governor pledged to make New York a national leader in Renewable Energy use. Gov. Pataki’s directive to New York State’s Public Service Commission, for example, aims at assuring that within the next 10 years at least 25 percent of the electricity bought in New York will come from Renewable Energy sources. The new energy consortium, named “New Energy New York” (NENY), was formally launched in early December. The organization will champion the capital region’s leadership in the energy field and market New York’s emerging energy industries. Participating in the NENY inaugural event were initial Capital Region consortium members Albany NanoTech, Blasch Precision Ceramic, EYP–Mission Critical Facilities, GE Global Research, Intermagnetics General, MTI – Micro Fuel Cells, Plug Power, and Super Power. At the core of the ANT program is the creation of a US$20 million Alternative Energy Test Farm that will serve as a proving ground for a variety of power technologies including fuel cells, microturbines, solar cells and hydrogen and natural gas distribution. Fuel cells, for example, are under serious study by the automotive industry as a potential source of power for future vehicles. They are also of high interest as potential alternative energy sources in many widely varying applications. The Alternative Energy Test Farm will provide an essential yet affordable laboratory for these leading-edge alternative energy companies. Consortium members will be able to participate in proprietary independent projects and still benefit from the synergy produced by cooperative projects that focus on energy quality, conditioning, energy storage, power generation, power conditioning, switching products and energy distribution applications of nanotechnology. Since fuel cell technology will play a prominent role in the NENY program, the Test Farm will also evaluate issues relating to the availability, supply infrastructure, economics, and safety procedures required for supplying primary hydrogen and natural gas. This will be evaluated empirically through fuel cell test beds and small-scale, on-site demonstrations of hydrogen production and storage for fuel cells and vehicle refueling.
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