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NYPA to develop energy master plan for City of Buffalo

by jmaloni

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Thu, Feb 27th 2014 06:15 pm

Public invited to submit energy-saving ideas

The New York Power Authority Thursday announced work is underway on an energy master plan for the City of Buffalo to reduce overall energy costs and carbon emissions, advance energy sustainability, and support green industries and jobs. In addition, a new page on the NYPA website has been created to solicit ideas from the public and present details about the master plan process.

The energy master plan being undertaken in partnership with the City of Buffalo is one of five such plans NYPA is spearheading for New York municipalities. The other cities are Albany, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers.

The initiative complements the Build Smart NY program, established by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in his December 2012 Executive Order 88, which aims to improve energy efficiency in state government buildings by 20 percent by 2020.

As part of the energy master plan effort for Buffalo, NYPA selected an architectural and engineering firm, Wendel, headquartered in Amherst, to develop a roadmap tailored to the specific energy-use circumstances and features of the Queen City. A NYPA-led team will work with local utilities, civic and government entities, and environmental groups, including Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (a consortium of the region's premier health care, life sciences research, and medical education institutions), Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council, National Grid, and People United for Sustainable Housing. The team will also consider energy-saving ideas submitted through the new webpage, www.nypa.gov/buildsmartny/ fivecities.html.

"The Power Authority is proud to support Buffalo in this ambitious energy efficiency initiative," said John R. Koelmel, NYPA chairman. "The development of five municipal-level energy master plans to reduce energy consumption and advance energy sustainability furthers Gov. Cuomo's commitment to create more energy-efficient cities and reduce the cost of government."

"The Power Authority is looking forward to partnering with the City of Buffalo on the development of this far-reaching energy master plan," said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. "This initiative will reduce energy consumption and operating and maintenance costs, enabling Buffalo city government to redeploy resources to other priority functions, providing a net benefit to the city and community."

"I am excited about this new energy efficiency partnership between the City of Buffalo and the New York Power Authority to spur significant cost savings for city residents and business owners," said Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown, noting that, since 2006, the city has spent more than $2.4 million in energy efficiency measures at 45 city facilities, with an anticipated energy cost savings of more than $410,000 annually. "Teaming up with the New York Power Authority is a great opportunity to further advance the energy efficiency measures that are underway in our city. I thank Gov. Cuomo for recognizing the value of building energy efficiency in Buffalo and across New York state. This partnership will enhance the economic and environmental benefits that will keep the progress building in Buffalo."

The master plan for Buffalo will focus on improving energy efficiency in four principal areas: energy planning and coordination, including review of the city's energy purchases; the energy delivery infrastructure; transportation, including review of the city's transportation fleet and transit centers; and energy efficiency in buildings. The plan will also focus on the revitalization of Buffalo's urban center to attract new businesses and residents, using such measures as the repurposing of old buildings and the development of new green infrastructure, as well as the adaptive reuse of brownfields where possible.

The individual master plans for Buffalo and the other four cities are expected to be completed by the fall with implementation of the recommendations to follow. Public and stakeholder engagement will occur throughout the process. Questions, comments and suggestions can be submitted through NYPA's five cities energy master plans webpage.

"The development of energy master plans through this partnership with the Power Authority will provide an exciting opportunity to bolster the ongoing revitalization and competitiveness of these five great cities. By improving energy efficiency and developing green, resilient neighborhoods, this initiative will produce cost savings, drive local job growth, enhance sustainability and improve quality-of-life," said Donna De Costanzo, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "We applaud Gov. Cuomo and NYPA for this innovative initiative, which will not only result in tremendous benefits here in New York, but can serve as a model for other cities around the country."

"The development of these five municipal energy master plans is a critical step forward to reducing energy consumption and advancing energy sustainability," said John B. Rhodes, president and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. "This work, along with Gov. Cuomo's 'Build Smart NY' initiative, is a great example of how the governor's clean energy agenda can create energy and cost savings and improve communities through partnerships with local governments."

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