Close this search box.

Get our email updates

Stay up-to-date on the companies, people and issues that impact businesses in Syracuse, Central New York and beyond.


Cuomo rolls out $3 million clean-energy contest for universities in New York

ALBANY, N.Y. — Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that his $3 million competition challenging student-led coalitions from colleges and universities in New York state to develop plans for campus and community clean-energy projects will start to accept applications this week.

Winners of the “Energy to Lead Competition” will receive $1 million each for “plans to advance clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on campus and in local communities,” according to a news release from the governor’s office.

The contest is open to student-led teams from two- or four-year public or private colleges or universities in the Empire State.


The “Energy to Lead Competition” is part of the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) Campus Challenge, which Cuomo announced last October. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) administers the contest, according to the release.

NYSERDA anticipates selecting three winning teams, awarding $1 million to each. Contest judges are looking for teams to find new uses for established technologies, lower costs, build on a campus project, and find ways to involve students in the proposed project through either coursework or internships. Proposals are encouraged to expand beyond the college or university grounds and into the community if possible.

“This competition will engage our future leaders today in this fight against climate change,” Cuomo contended in the news release. “I encourage students across the state to get involved and look forward to having their cutting-edge ideas transformed into real projects to reduce emissions, lower energy bills and improve resilience across this state.”

Teams must consist of at least one undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in a New York state higher-education institution as of April 22, 2016 and may include consultants or a collaboration of institutions. Applications must be submitted by a faculty or staff member currently employed by the respective institution, according to the online NYSERDA application.

Applications are available on NYSERDA’s website and proposals are due by 5 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on April 4.

This competition is part of the governor’s plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels, use 50 percent of electricity from renewable resources, and cut energy consumption in buildings by 23 percent by 2030, according to the release.

Cuomo also announced on Thursday that the New York State Public Service Commission has approved a 10-year, $5 billion Clean Energy Fund to make investments in solar, wind, energy efficiency, and other clean-tech industries and projects.

Contact The Business Journal News Network at


Get our email updates

Stay up-to-date on the companies, people and issues that impact businesses in Syracuse, Central New York and beyond.