The Town of Grand Island announced it has been designated a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, recognizing its leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy locally.
Announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August of 2016, the $16 million Clean Energy Communities initiative supports local government leaders across the state by providing grants to eligible municipalities to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities. Clean Energy Communities advances the governor's Reforming the Energy strategy by demonstrating the importance of communities in helping New York reach its clean energy standard mandate of having half of the state's electricity coming from renewable energy resources by 2030.
The Town of Grand Island received the designation for completing four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions identified by NYSERDA as part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative. In addition, the designation gives Grand Island an opportunity to apply for up to $5,000 toward additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share.
Supervisor Nathan McMurray stated, "Solar power is a cost-efficient way to preserve our environment and power our community. I'm proud to be part of a community that takes this form of energy seriously. Grand Island was one of the first communities in our area to pass a solar law. This summer we had a successful Solarize Grand Island campaign that educated the public about the benefits of renewable energy and resulted in 24 new residential solar installations. I'd like to thank the team leader, Councilwoman Beverly Kinney, co-leaders, Deputy Supervisor Jim Sharpe and Jennifer Baney and the Solarize Committee and for all their hard work, and for helping Grand Island become a Clean Energy Community."
To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, the Town of Grand Island completed the following high-impact clean energy actions: benchmarking, unified solar permit, Solarize Grand Island campaign, code enforcement training.
Cities, counties, towns and villages that complete at least four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions are designated Clean Energy Communities and are eligible to apply for funding of up to $250,000 with no local cost share and the option of receiving up to 25 percent paid in advance to support additional clean energy projects. At least two of the four actions must have been completed after Aug. 1, 2016. NYSERDA is accepting applications for funding on a rolling basis through Sept. 30, 2019, or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Funds are being provided through the Clean Energy Fund and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
Once all funding is exhausted for large or small/medium categories in a region, local governments designated a Clean Energy Community are eligible to apply for a $5,000 grant, on a first-come, first-serve basis until such funds are exhausted.
Clean Energy Community Coordinators are also available at no charge to help communities develop and prioritize clean energy goals, access easy-to-use resources such as guidance documents and case studies, and take advantage of available funding and technical assistance opportunities.
The next regular meeting of the Grand Island Town Board will be at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17, in Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road.
Grand Island Town Board
- Supervisor: Nathan McMurray
- Council members: Jennifer Baney, Pete Marston, Bev Kinney, Mike Madigan
Grand Island Deputy Supervisor Jim Sharpe presents a town proclamation to Kelly Tyler, director of communities and local governments at the New York Energy Research and Development Agency, during Monday's Town Board meeting. The town received a Clean Energy Community designation from NYSERDA. Also pictured are members of the Town Board and the town's Solarize Committee. (Photo by Larry Austin)