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ANCA wraps up two clean energy programs this year

Over $2M invested in NYSERDA projects across the North Country

Designated and participating Clean Energy Communities in northern New York (Provided image — NYSERDA)

SARANAC LAKE — The Adirondack North Country Association recently wrapped up two clean energy programs for municipalities.

Since 2015, the ANCA Clean Energy Program has worked with municipalities and residents to help implement two New York State Energy Research and Development Authority programs: Cleaner Greener Communities (CGC) One Stop Shop (OSS) and Clean Energy Communities (CEC). Among ANCA’s multiple and ongoing initiatives that bring clean energy investments and opportunities to North Country communities, the OSS and CEC programs provided over $2 million in energy funding to the region.

“They spoke, and we listened,” said ANCA Energy Circuit Rider Nancy Bernstein. “We were hearing from multiple municipalities that they were interested in clean energy, but did not have the time or technical expertise to fund and complete projects.”

The OSS program was designed to meet those needs by offering responsive, informed assistance to municipalities through the creation of four energy circuit rider positions and the development of tools and resources. ANCA was awarded the OSS grant in 2015 as part of NYSERDA’s Cleaner Greener Communities Program.

Over a four-year period, the ANCA energy circuit rider team connected with 195 North Country communities and assisted in completing a variety of clean energy projects including interior light-emitting diode (LED) lighting upgrades, building envelope improvements, battery storage feasibility studies, net zero design, pellet boiler installations, LED streetlight conversions, electric vehicle charging station installation, solar siting and solar installations.

“Hands down the most enjoyable part of our job is supporting the hard-working leaders and community volunteers such as the Keene Green Team and the Canton Sustainability Committee,” said ANCA Energy Circuit Rider Jennifer Perry. “It was our pleasure to help them achieve their goals.”

Starting in 2016, ANCA’s energy circuit riders led a successful outreach campaign through the CEC program, providing technical and financial support for 35 North Country communities and assisting each in the adoption of at least four of 10 “high-impact action items” determined by the state as important first steps in achieving its clean energy goals. The first 18 communities to achieve CEC designation were awarded $50,000 to $250,000 to complete clean energy projects.

To date, 19 municipalities are designated Clean Energy Communities in the North Country: Franklin, St. Lawrence, Lewis and Jefferson counties; the villages of Saranac Lake, Canton, Champlain and Rouses Point; and the towns of Franklin, St. Armand, Keene, Black Brook, Malone, Westport, Colton, Waddington, Leyden, Elizabethtown and Plattsburgh.

Malone town Supervisor Andrea Steward said, “This CEC program has been invaluable in our ongoing efforts to make our highway garage more energy efficient and more comfortable for our workers. With the help of ANCA’s energy circuit riders, we have successfully upgraded our streetlights to LED, which has improved safety while reducing energy costs.”

“It is Elizabethtown’s mission to set an example to our residents that we are committed to green practices such as purchasing renewable power and reducing our energy related costs,” said Noel Merrihew, Elizabethtown town supervisor. “We look forward to working with the program in the future.”

ANCA’s Clean Energy Program continues to provide support for municipalities interested in adopting clean energy practices and technologies. For more information, contact 518-891-6200 or energy@adirondack.org.

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