Tag Archives: new york state

Getting to the Triple Bottom Line

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.”

Great Room_SUNY Orange

120 attendees filled the Great Room at SUNY Orange in Newburgh, NY

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.


Meridith Nierenberg of RUPCO (right) exhibited on behalf of the NYSERDA Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® 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.

“Reforming the Energy Vision” Moves Consumer Experience to Center Stage

Major changes are in store for the electricity-consuming public in New York State. In April, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, which directs the New York State Public Service Commission to move the State’s utilities to a more decentralized structure.

Now known simply as REV, the initiative envisions that customer-side resources will become primary tools in the planning and operation of the State utility system. This will improve system efficiency and enable the deployment of cleaner and more resilient technologies, according to the report written by Department of Public Service staff to propose REV.

“As the Commission undertakes the dramatic transformation envisioned here…customers’ roles and opportunities will change as they become partners in problem solving and active participants in markets,” PSC staff wrote in the report.

Here are three key points made in the REV report:

• Many residential customers “with average usage levels saw their winter electric bills increased by over 80 percent,” according to the report, which acknowledges that the devastating impact on many consumers needs urgent attention before next winter.
• The REV initiative will lead to regulatory changes that promote more efficient use of energy, deeper penetration of renewable energy resources such as wind and solar, and wider deployment of distributed energy resources, including microgrids, on-site power supplies and storage. It will promote greater use of advanced energy management products to improve demand efficiencies.
• These changes will empower customers by allowing them more choice in how they manage and consume electric energy.

The REV proceeding will advance on two tracks:

o The first will examine the utilities’ role in enabling market-based deployment of distributed energy resources to promote load management and greater system efficiency, including peak load reductions.
o The second will look toward changes in regulatory, tariff and market designs and incentive structures to better align utility interests with achieving the REV policy objectives.

The REV report is available at http://tinyurl.com/pym6p4v

PSC’s Zibelman Leads REV Effort

Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is the first major policy initiative of Public Service Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman, who was confirmed as a PSC commissioner on June 19, 2013 and named chair on September 3, 2013. Ms. Zibelman has extensive experience in the public, private, and not-for-profit energy and electricity sectors. She is a recognized national and international expert in energy policy, markets, and smart grid innovation.

Ms. Zibelman is a founder and past president and CEO of Viridity Energy, Inc., which she formed after more than 25 years of electric utility industry leadership experience in both the public and private sectors. She has participated as both counsel and expert witness in numerous electric utility proceedings before state and federal regulatory and legislative bodies on topics such as the benefits of power markets and smart grids to consumers. Ms. Zibelman also has served on the boards of organizations responsible for assuring the security and reliability of the nation’s power system, including Reliability First, the GridWise Alliance, and the Midwest Reliability Organization.
Previously, Ms. Zibelman was the executive vice president and CEO of PJM, a regional transmission organization that operates the world’s largest wholesale power market and serves 14 states throughout the eastern United States. She also held executive positions at Xcel Energy, served as general counsel to the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, and as Special Assistant Attorney General in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.