Governor Cuomo Announces Launch of Largest Healthcare-Based Solar Project in New York
$2 Million in State Support for 21-Acre Solar Project to Offset Energy Use for St. Peter’s Health Partners and Center for Disability Services
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the largest state-supported solar project for healthcare organizations in New York. The project will provide two significant health services providers in Albany – St. Peter’s Health Partners and the Center for Disability Services – with clean power and will save each facility $50,000 annually. The funding will help support the Governor’s Clean Energy Standard to meet 50 percent of our electricity needs with renewable resources by 2030 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“This project represents a major step forward in growing the clean energy economy both here in the Capital Region and across New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “By incentivizing the healthcare industry to utilize greener forms of energy like solar, we are not only helping shrink the carbon footprint of these organizations, but also helping reduce their bottom line so they operate more efficiently. Now, they will be able to direct even more resources to those who need them the most—the patients.”
The 21-acre solar project, which will contain about 16,000 solar panels, will be located on vacant land in the Town of Greenport, Columbia County. The solar-generated power will offset about 10 percent of power consumed by St. Peter’s Health Partners’ St. Peter’s Hospital and the Center for Disability Services.
The 5.3 megawatt-project will provide the same amount of power each year as would be needed for 850 average-sized homes and will reduce greenhouse gases by almost 2,000 tons annually, equivalent to taking about 375 cars off the road. Construction has begun, and the system is expected to be operating in August 2016.
Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York, said, “As anchors in our communities, large health service providers are core to helping our communities transition to a clean energy economy. Large solar projects like this support Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision by increasing the deployment of renewable energy technology in New York, making the state cleaner while bringing us closer to meeting our ambitious clean energy goals.”
Total investment in the project is approximately $12 million, including $2 million from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority through NY-Sun, a $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move the state closer to a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. NY-Sun is a portfolio of programs, including Affordable Solar to low- to moderate-income residents participate in solar, Shared Solar for consumers unable to put solar on their roof, K-solar for schools and Solarize campaigns for neighborhoods. Additional support for the project was provided through tax exemptions granted by theColumbia County Industrial Development Agency.
The solar project advances the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers, and continues the State’s robust growth in solar energy, which increased more than 300 percent from 2011 to 2014, twice the rate of U.S. solar growth overall. The Governor has committed to bringing solar to 150,000 homes and business and to installing clean, renewable energy at every SUNY Campus by 2020.
NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes said, “This investment in renewable energy advances Governor Cuomo’s energy strategy. New York State continues to see its solar resources grow at some of the fastest rates in the nation, improving the State’s energy system and adding private investment and jobs.”
Albany-based renewable energy firm Sunstream Hudson I LLC is developing and operating the project for St. Peter’s Health Partners, and Sunstream Hudson II LLC for the Center for Disability Services. Baltimore-based MMA Energy Capital and Buffalo-basedM&T Bank are providing financing. Both St. Peter’s Health Partners and the Center for Disability Services have signed power purchase agreements with Sunstream Hudson, which will deliver power generated by the solar farm to National Grid. In turn, National Grid will provide renewable energy credits to St. Peter’s Health Partners and the Center for Disability Services to offset their electricity usage.
The new solar initiative is one of several projects at St. Peter’s Health Partners aimed at boosting sustainability and reducing the organization’s impact on the environment. At St. Peter’s Hospital, a hybrid chiller system was installed with support from NYSERDA to streamline the facility’s natural gas and electricity consumption. Other projects include using solar energy to heat domestic hot water, using bio-based and certified green cleaning materials, and serving sustainable seafood and locally grown produce whenever possible. Looking ahead, St. Peter’s Health Partners plans to refine its waste stream processes and expand its recycling programs.
St. Peter’s Health Partners President and Chief Executive Officer James K. Reed, M.D., said, “The mission of St. Peter’s Health Partners is to be a compassionate, transforming, and healing presence in the communities we serve. Clearly embedded in this mission is the responsibility to be a thoughtful steward of the natural resources entrusted to our care. Investing in renewable energy such as solar power and reducing the carbon footprint of St. Peter’s Hospital is a way for us to promote sustainability and be faithful to who we say we are.”
Alan Krafchin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Disability Services, said: “When this system is placed in service, approximately 10 percent of the Center’s electricity usage will be derived from clean, renewable solar power. We are very pleased Sunstream Partners was able to make the financial model for solar technology work for us. This will enable future investment in energy-efficiency projects at our facilities throughout the community.”
New York State Senator Neil Breslin said, “I applaud both St. Peter’s Health Partners and the Center for Disability Services for demonstrating their commitment to the use of renewable energy. With Governor Cuomo’s recent announcement of the state’s new Clean Energy Standard requiring that half of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources, it is projects like these that will help us reach those laudable goals.”
New York State Senator Kathy Marchione said, “The promise of clean, affordable and renewable solar energy is being realized with today’s announcement. This clean power project is terrific news and will contribute to New York State’s continued growth as a national leader in building the cleaner, greener, smarter energy sources and economy of tomorrow that we need today. I appreciate Governor Cuomo’s continued leadership in this critical area and for making this investment and project a reality. We can have a cleaner, healthier environment and a stronger economy, both of which benefit all New Yorkers.”
New York State Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, “Terrific news that two of our major health service providers in the Capital Region will benefit from the Governor’s new Clean Energy Standard, providing both savings on their energy bill and addressing climate change. This is precisely the sort of technological creativity, collaboration and investment that inspires both our business and residential neighbors by placing locally produced power at the core of New York’s energy system.”
St Peter’s Hospital is a not-for-profit community tertiary hospital with 442 beds, more than 900 staff physicians and nearly 6,000 employees. The Center for Disability Services is a non-profit health and human services organization that provides programs and services for over 12,000 individuals of all ages with disabilities and chronic medical conditions, and employs 2,700 staff.
About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. REV is transforming New York’s energy policy with new state-wide initiatives and regulatory reforms. REV will grow the state’s clean energy economy, support innovation, ensure grid resilience, mobilize private capital, create new jobs, and increase choice and affordability for energy consumers. REV places clean, locally produced power at the very core of New York’s energy system. This protects the environment and supports the State’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% while generating 50% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Successful initiatives already launched as part of REV include NY-Sun, NY Green Bank, NY Prize, K-Solar, and a commitment to improve energy affordability for low-income communities. To learn more about REV, visithttp://www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us @REV4NY.