SUNY New Paltz is a member of the New York Higher Education Large Scale Renewable Energy (NY HE LSRE) consortium of 20 public and private higher education institutions for the purchase of large-scale aggregated renewable energy. The consortium represents one of the state’s largest aggregated purchases of renewable energy to date.
The consortium, which includes 16 SUNY campuses and four private colleges, will use its collective purchasing power to develop new renewable projects by contracting for renewable energy at scale. The process will normalize the cost of electricity for the individual colleges and reduce volatility in each institution’s energy budget.
The Large Scale Renewable Energy process will eventually expand to all 64 SUNY campuses, which will help advance Governor Cuomo’s statewide goal of having 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040.
“By taking a cooperative approach to the purchase of renewable energy, these campuses will be better able to meet their sustainability goals and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “The consortium provides a cost-effective way of achieving campus carbon neutrality, with the power to transform the regional renewable energy market. It also creates important partnerships among New York’s higher education institutions.”
SUNY has already reduced its carbon footprint from 1.02 million metric tons in 1990 to 770,000 metric tons in 2017, decreasing its greenhouse emissions by nearly 25 percent. The reductions in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions come in spite of a 50 percent increase in the system’s total square footage.
Technologies such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, biogas, biofuel, and fuel cells, are expected to be viable sources. The RFP is expected to be issued later this year, with operations to begin as soon as December 2020.
Many of these renewable energy sources are already in use on the SUNY New Paltz campus, including seven on-site ground mount and rooftop photovoltaic arrays, and a state-of-the-art battery storage system in Elting Gym.
Joining this aggregated, large-scale purchase of energy helps further shelter SUNY New Paltz from risk related to volatile energy markets, and provides valuable academic and research opportunities for students and faculty.
The following colleges are participating in the New York Higher Education Large Scale Renewable Energy consortium:
- SUNY New Paltz
- University at Albany
- Binghamton University
- SUNY Cobleskill
- SUNY Cortland
- SUNY Delhi
- SUNY Empire State College
- SUNY ESF
- SUNY Fredonia
- SUNY Geneseo
- Hudson Valley Community College
- SUNY Maritime
- SUNY Oneonta
- Onondaga Community College
- SUNY Oswego
- Purchase College
- Bard College
- Cornell University
- Ithaca College
- Skidmore College