The Great Room at SUNY Orange in Newburgh, NY, was the location of the well-attended and highly-praised energy projects finance conference titled, “Getting to the Triple Bottom Line: Innovative Strategies to Green Your Business.”
The Mid-Hudson EDGE team co-hosted the event with the Orange County Department of Planning, to help provide a unique opportunity for the Hudson Valley community to gain a deeper understanding of the spectrum of strategies available to support energy projects, including exciting new opportunities in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy finance. The Mid-Hudson region is at the nexus of cutting edge programs in energy project finance.
The 16 panelists gathered for the four event panels represented the spectrum of incentive and finance opportunities available to support energy projects in the New York area.
John Ahearn and Kathryn Fantauzzi presented on commercial, not-for-profit, and residential customer opportunities from NYSERDA. Nathaniel Doyno and Amanda DiMaso discussed utility company programs available from Con Edison and Central Hudson, respectively. Mark Thielking and Robert Fischman discussed opportunities in Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for commercial customers and other programs developed by Energize NY. Fred Lee described the work of the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC). Tom Kacandes from Sunrise Solar discussed equipment manufacturer-provided financing and Robert Boyajieff of Johnson Controls provided an energy services company (ESCO) perspective.
Bryan Garcia and Genevieve Sherman from the Connecticut Green Bank and David Gabrielson from PACENow offered lessons and insights from related programs available outside of New York State. Bruce Schlein, Director of Sustainability at Citi, discussed the role of federal and interstate programs and the importance of secondary financial markets led by Citi and other large financial institutions. Bruce Schlein and Bryan Garcia serve as co-chairs of the Financing Solutions Working Group of the State Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEEAction Network), a state- and local-led effort facilitated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take energy efficiency to scale. Robert Sanders from the Clean Energy Group drew attention to the role of finance in supporting energy resiliency.
Alfred Griffin, president of NY Green Bank, was the keynote speaker and introduced many audience members to the NY Green Bank while providing all with a deeper understanding of the organization’s missions and operations.
A final session offered attendees a detailed tour of the Consolidated Funding Application tool and associated resources, as well as NYSERDA’s Cleaner, Greener Communities program.
The event was sponsored by 10 organizations including two local utilities (Central Hudson and Con Edison), NYSERDA contractors (RUPCO and Energize NY), NYSERDA program participants (Continental Organics and Newburgh Brewing), and a number of Mid-Hudson EDGE partners (Hudson Valley Regional Council, USGBC New York Upstate Chapter, Council of Industry, and Sustainable Hudson Valley). These organizations provided financial, advertising, and technical assistance, while many were present as expert panelists and exhibitors.
Attendees were polled after the event, and the feedback was positive. One audience member stated, the event offered a “knowledgeable and skilled presenters and excellent moderators with senses of humor made a packed program on material that I have little experience with quite palatable, even enjoyable.” The event panelists, sponsors, and exhibitors enthusiastically praised the event for helping to build and foster cross-fertilization of ideas within the energy projects finance community.