Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that more than $5 million will be given to four colleges and universities, including New York Medical and Vassar colleges, for projects and construction that improve energy performance and advance building decarbonization.
The projects are part of New York’s Energy to Lead Competition, which was started in 2016 to encourage colleges and universities to develop solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as part of the state’s goal to reduce these emissions by 85% by 2050.
It is run by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and has disbursed over $11 million in funding since its start.
New York Medical College in Valhalla and Vassar College in Poughkeepsie were awarded over $1 million in funding each, along with City College of New York and Syracuse University.
At New York Medical College, $1.3 million will go toward designing and implementing a digitally controlled, campuswide single system for HVAC, chiller and boiler pumps and lighting controls. It will combine systems already in place with the new controls.
“The Energy to Lead award will contribute to the installation of state-of-the-art building control technologies that will be the underlayment of a substantial campus-wide reduction in greenhouse gas production,” said Dr. Edward C. Halperin, chancellor and CEO of New York Medical College.
“We look forward to this project serving as an important learning opportunity for our student body to learn how institutions can make measurable impacts on climate action through responsible operations.”
Part of the funding will go toward staff training sessions that will focus on how to use the new system, along with educational outreach to inform students and the community about the project.
At Vassar, $1.1 million will fund a new building for the school’s Institute for Liberal Arts, with net-zero emissions. In addition to the building itself, the project will also include a dashboard that features real-time data to report construction progress and show impacts and outcomes. Students will complete research to verify the building’s net-zero emissions status and analyze its performance.
“From the project’s inception, our mission for the Institute for the Liberal Arts has been to create a space that fosters path-breaking collaborations between Vassar, our region, and the globe,” Vassar College President Elizabeth Bradley said. “We are honored to be selected as a winner of the Energy to Lead Competition and look forward to bringing this project to fruition.”