In last week’s State of the State address, New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed a number of new strategies to establish the state as a cleantech leader. Among these, several stood out:
● Increasing the use of local renewable power sources – Cuomo proposed increasing the use of distributed power generation using renewable sources, natural gas, and energy storage to reduce dependence on centralized power plants and avoid outages.
● Creating the NY Green Bank – a $1 billion bank that will leverage public dollars with private sector match to spur the clean economy.
● Appointing an Energy Czar – Richard Kauffman, a senior advisor to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, will be the state’s new Energy Czar, a state cabinet-level position.
New York is already one of the leading states supporting fuel cell power generation. A 400-kW fuel cell was recently installed at the 1211 Avenue of the Americas building City to provide a significant portion of electricity used by the News Corp TV studios. The new Freedom Tower will be powered by 4.8 MW of fuel cells, with several already delivered and installed at the site. Other installations in the past few years include state office buildings (Hauppauge and White Plains), the Bronx Zoo, the Octagon residential building on Roosevelt Island, a Union College dormitory, several Price Chopper supermarkets (Colonie and Glenville), a Coca-Cola production facility, and multiple Sprint-Nextel cell tower sites.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) supports stationary fuel cell installs through the Renewable Portfolio Standard Customer-Sited Tier Fuel Cell Program, making $3.5 million in funding available each calendar year. Gov. Cuomo’s new measures may well create an additional opportunity for fuel cells in the state.