Author Archives: cstrong

POWERful Women

From left:
Vanessa Perez and Jessica Waldorf of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), Pat Courtney Strong, Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium/Courtney Strong Inc.; Maria Szefler, Wendel Companies; Cindy Malinchak, PHILIPS Lighting; and Nina Orville, Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium/Abundant Efficiency LLC. NYPA hosted a March 29 lunch meeting in Kingston to present its street lighting program to the 18 communities of the Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium, funded by NYSERDA.

Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium Moves to Next Phase

As many municipalities are becoming aware, conversion to LED street lights offers savings of up to 65 percent. As such, it is one of the 10 High Impact Actions in the NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities program.

In December, the Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium and the town of Red Hook (Dutchess County) issued a Request for Proposals for installation and (optional) maintenance of LED street lights. Eighteen additional municipalities joined as Participants. The town expects to announce the selected bidder within the next 60 days. The selected firm(s) will enter into separate contracts with participating municipalities.

The RFP was developed by the consortium particularly for municipalities with fewer than 400 street lights. As a cost-saving measure, it does not include procurement. Rather, the consortium is assisting communities with LED procurement through the State bid system and other group buying opportunities.

Red Hook Town Supervisor Robert McKeon, Rosendale Town Councilwoman Jen Metzger, and Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium team lead Pat Courtney Strong
presented at the New York State Association of Towns meeting in Manhattan February 19.
They described the deep cost and energy savings of LED street lights (typically 65%). Red Hook, a regional leader in clean energy projects, is leading an 18-municipality aggregation that is seeking to convert to LEDs through the Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium.
More here: www.nystreetlights.org

The consortium also drafted a second RFP for communities interested in “turnkey” procurement, installation, and optional maintenance services. The city of Kingston (Ulster County) is expected to be the lead municipality for the turnkey offering, and other communities statewide will be able to join. The city plans to issue the RFP this Spring.

The RFP activity is taking place concurrently with efforts by communities such as Red Hook and Kingston to purchase their street lights from their utility companies. In 2008, the New York State Comptroller issued a report that recommended municipal purchase of street lights as an opportunity for substantial cost savings.

After contractors are selected for both RFPs, the agreed-upon pricing will be available to other communities across the State for up to one year, under a State procurement law that provides for “piggybacking.”

All New York State utilities also offer an option for municipalities to convert to utility LED lights. While local governments must continue to pay “rent” for their street lights in the form of monthly fixture charges, these charges tend to be lower than the rates for existing lights and communities would see long-term cost savings, especially when combined with energy savings. If a municipality chooses the utility LED conversion option, the Public Service Commission requires that local governments pay the remaining undepreciated value of the lights being replaced. Most utilities allow on-bill financing of this upfront cost.

Funded by NYSERDA’s Cleaner Greener Communities Program, the Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium began operations in June, 2016 and expects to be active through fourth quarter 2018. Member organizations are Courtney Strong Inc. (lead), Citizens for Local Power, Abundant Efficiency LLC, and LightSmart Consulting LLC.

More information:  and www.nystreetlights.org.

All-Volunteer Team Guides Town of Keene Toward High Impact Actions

Carolyn Peterson, Keene Clean Energy Group Volunteer

The town of Keene has embarked on an ambitious plan to undertake a host of high impact energy actions, capably led by an all-volunteer team.

Acting on a recommendation from Supervisor Joseph P. Wilson, Jr., the town board passed a resolution establishing the Keene Clean Energy Group as a volunteer advisory and working committee dedicated to assisting the town in achieving clean energy goals.

Carolyn Peterson, a former mayor of Ithaca, and Dan Mason, a retired oil industry executive and a founder of the North Country Clean Energy Conference, are joined by Jim Bernard, Amy Nelson, Monique Weston, Jackie Bowen, Bunny Goodwin, and Josh Whitney.

“Everyone has a project they’re excited to be working on,” said Supervisor Wilson.

Dan Mason, founder of the North Country Clean Energy Conference

The town has been designated as a Clean Energy Community for having achieved these High Impact Actions:

The town hopes to receive a $50,000 Clean Energy Communities award.  Possible projects include solar PV for three of their four municipal buildings; interior LED light lights; and energy audits, especially at the town water plant. Mason estimates he PV project alone is an opportunity to save $3,000 a year. Post-award, the group plans to work on LED street light conversion, EV charging stations, a town electric bus, and more. The group also plans to move forward with an effort to bring Keene into the Climate Smart Communities program and is already achieving single-sort recycling, a program requirement.

“The Clean Energy Communities award for a community our size is very significant,” said Peterson. About 11 percent of Keene’s approximately 450 year-round homes and businesses have solar installations, indicating a relatively high level of community engagement with sustainability issues.

To inform its policy direction and activities, the group has met with Mothers Out Front, a chapter of the national organization that raises awareness about climate change.

Town of Queensbury to Implement Seven High Impact Actions with Help from Clean Energy Committee

The NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities High Impact Actions are a framework to help communities throughout New York State develop and prioritize their clean energy goals. The town of Queensbury formed a Clean Energy Committee in the summer of 2017 with the goal of completing a minimum of four of the high impact actions.

John Strough, Town Supervisor

In just six short months, the town has exceeded its goals. The Clean Energy Committee is led by Kathy Bozony, an environmental consultant for the town, and John Strough, the town Supervisor. Together with town board member Catherine Atherden, town staff, and other local stakeholders, the group is on its way to complete seven of the 10 High Impact Actions.

The hard work the committee invested to implement High Impact Actions exemplifies why Queensbury is considered a local leader in the clean energy arena. Committee members decided to work the High Impact Actions concurrently in an effort to complete four in time to meet NYSERDA’s deadline for the CEC $50,000 grant while also improving the community’s overall energy consumption.

Kathy Bozony,Clean Energy Community Committee Chair

It’s a win-win situation for everyone and it’s paid off.

High Impact Actions completed:

  • Unified Solar Permit. The town adopted a standardized permit application designed to streamline the approval process for installing solar in the community.
  • Benchmarking. The Committee assisted with the gathering and reporting of the town’s energy use in buildings
  • Energy Code Enforcement Training. Code enforcement officers attended an energy code best practices training on solar panel systems.
  • Clean Fleets. The town installed two EV charging stations at the municipal water plant with plans to deploy alternative fuel vehicles in the near future.

High Impact Actions underway:

  • Solarize. The Committee moved forward with implementing a local solarize campaign to increase the number of solar rooftops in the town and is inviting other Warren County communities to join in the effort.
  • Clean Energy Upgrades. The town is working on reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent. Solar panels already installed on municipal buildings have brought them very close to reaching this goal. Additionally, interior and exterior lights were recently replaced with LEDs in the town office and Activities Center Complex.
  • LED Street Lights. The Committee is exploring converting the town’s street lights to energy-efficient LED technology.

Kathy Bozony looks forward to the work the Clean Energy Committee will continue to implement in the future. “It’s the work the Clean Energy Committee plans to do after the initial four High Impact Actions have been completed that will include the community and its participation in reduction of fossil fuel dependency, which remains the main focus for creating the committee.”

The town of Queensbury has shown strong leadership in the clean energy arena and has been highly focused on the cost savings and environmental benefits of taking such actions. The implementation of their Clean Energy Committee allowed for public involvement in the NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities process and demonstrates their commitment to clean energy.

Highlights from EV Infrastructure Workshop: Paving the Way for Electric Vehicles

The Capital District Regional Planning Commission hosted the EV Infrastructure Workshop at Johnstone Supply in Troy, NY on January 10, 2018.

Adam Ruder, NYSERDA Program Manager, described the Clean Transportation Program

The workshop provided an overview of the Clean Energy Communities program by CEC coordinator Robyn Reynolds and presenters covered a variety of topics:

Click on image to view larger

  • – EV charging station demonstration and discussion by Johnstone Supply
  • – Review of the State’s support for zero-emission vehicles by Mark Lowery, DEC
  • – Information on NYSERDA’s Clean Transportation Program by Adam Ruder
  • – Overview on the Clean Cities Program by Jen Ceponis, Capital District Clean Communities Coalition
  • – Examples of the user-experience by Paul Dietershagen, Albany/Capital District EV Drivers Group 

See agenda for contact information and bios

Event host Johnstone Supply plans to become a regional distributor of EV charging stations, helping municipalities use the state bid system to secure competitive pricing.

Watch the presentations:

EV Infrastructure: Paving the Way for Electric Vehicles (1.10.18)


Electric vehicles (EVs) reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants that cause smog and acid rain. Compared to gasoline powered cars, EVs are significantly more energy efficient and cost approximately 50 to 70% less to operate per mile.

NYSERDA’s Clean Fleets High Impact Action is an effort by local governments to invest in alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure while increasing opportunities for constituents to
access EVs charging stations. In communities large and small, urban and rural, charging stations are being installed at a wide variety of locations across New York State.

Agenda

Download Slides

View Presentations:


Town of Ulster joins regional street light consortium as it considers switching to LED fixtures

Town of Ulster joins regional street light consortium as it considers switching to LED fixtures

Posted:10/10/17

Excerpt:
TOWN OF ULSTER, N.Y. >> The town will participate in a “request for proposals” being issued by the Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium in an effort to reduce the amount of electricity used by municipalities in the region.

The Town Board voted last week to join the regional effort. Supervisor James Quigley said the proposals will provide the town with information about the cost of switching to LED bulbs for street lights.

“It’s a voluntary action on the part of the towns,” he said. “I wish to have the town’s name added to the RFP (request for proposals) so that when the RFP goes out, if this Town Board feels it is advantageous to take advantage of the services and the prices that are achieved by this bidding process … the town has the ability to participate in the bulk purchase of LED lights.”

READ MORE

Request for Proposals: Initial Maintenance and Energy Efficiency Conversion for Municipal Street Lighting System

Please be advised:

The Town of Red Hook on behalf of and in cooperation with the Towns of Hillsdale, Hurley, Marbletown, New Paltz, Rhinebeck, Rosendale, Ulster and the Villages of New Paltz, Pelham, Philmont, Red Hook, Rhinebeck and Tivoli and other communities that may choose to participate or piggyback, is seeking qualified bidders to submit proposals for the conversion and preventative maintenance of the municipal street lighting systems in the participating communities.

The RFP solicits services for contracts to be awarded by individual participating municipalities, in the aggregate providing for the conversion of approximately 2,868 existing cobrahead street lighting fixtures from their existing light source to LED light sources with fixtures controls and fusing as may be required by the participating community and follow-on maintenance of the municipal street lighting system for three years following the conversion process.

There will be a mandatory pre-bid conference at 1 pm on December 11 at Red Hook Town Hall, 7340 S. Broadway, Red Hook for all potential bidders.  Attendance at this meeting is mandatory for any company submitting a proposal but attendance does not obligate the attendee to submit a proposal.

The due date for RFP responses is 2 pm, Thursday, January 11.

Respondents must provide eight (8) hard copies and one (1) memory stick/thumb drive (non-returnable) with their proposal to the office of Red Hook Town Clerk Sue McCann, 7340 S. Broadway, Red Hook, NY 12571.

Questions:

Ann Conway, Project Coordinator, Town of Red Hook, 7340 S. Broadway, Red Hook, NY 12571. Email: 

Request for Proposals (RFP) and related attachments:

Consortium To Release Request for Proposals on Behalf of Mid-Hudson Communities

To assist smaller communities with LED street light conversion, the Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium has prepared a Community Managed Request For Proposals (CMRFP). The purpose of the RFP is to offer communities maximum savings in converting to LED street lights.

 

The Consortium now has 18 communities actively interested in moving forward with an aggregated purchase of LED street lights. RFP participants will benefit from group pricing on installation and maintenance of LED street lights. Individual municipalities will be responsible for inventorying their existing street lights and determining the design of the new LED system, but will benefit from hands-on assistance from the Consortium.

 

Other communities can “piggyback” on the RFP for up to one year but will not have access to the Consortium’s assistance. The Town of Red Hook will be the lead Participant, so communities planning on “piggybacking” will use that town’s individual contract with the chosen Bidder as the model. To obtain a copy of the RFP, municipalities may email

 

This RFP has been reviewed by Sive Paget Riesel, a law firm specializing in municipal issues. Municipalities should engage their own counsel to review the RFP as well.

 

If your community is interested in using the CMRFP, you must first pass a local law authorizing your community to accept Best Value bids. A best value procurement policy allows you to select bidders on other factors, such as quality and expertise, and not just price. Secondly, your municipality must also sign an Intermunicipal Agreement (IMA) to be provided by the Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium to those who wish to join.

Your email or letter expressing an intention to join the RFP should include a copy of your utility-generated existing street light inventory and any addenda to the RFP that your municipality will require.

Questions: .

 

Ulster County and the towns of Ulster and Rosendale have passed local laws to allow the use of Best Value criteria and may offer language that could be re-purposed as templates for other communities:

 

 

The deadline for notifying MHSC for your municipality’s interest in joining the Consortium is November 15. Note: Your municipality will not be required to enter into a contract with the successful Bidder by virtue of participating in the RFP; you’ll have a chance to evaluate the advisability of moving forward after the firm is selected.

 

Aggregated Procurement Support: Two Approaches to LED Street Light Procurement

The Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium (MHSC) is providing support to Mid-Hudson municipalities interested in participating in aggregated procurement of LED street lights. The Consortium will support two distinct procurement strategies, Turnkey and Community-Managed. Key attributes of each, and the support provided by the Consortium, are described below.

 

The Community-Managed approach, to be issued first, will include procurement of equipment through state contracts, issuance of an RFP for labor with bids detailed on a per unit basis, with an option for extended maintenance. The Consortium will provide guidance for other aspects of the scope of work as well.

 

In turnkey projects, a single contractor manages the full project. The Request For Proposals (RFP) being developed by the Consortium will require bidders to break out their price for key components of the total scope of work and to bid either on a per unit basis or a percentage mark-up for each. Participating communities will select which elements of the scope of work they would like to contract for apart from equipment and labor, which are integral to the RFP.

 

  • -The Consortium will release the Community Managed RFP in early Q4, followed by the Turnkey RFP.
  • – Municipalities must notify MHSC of intent to join Community Managed RFP by November 15.
View the comparison of procurement approaches and anticipated schedule.