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Pataki Puts SUNY-ESF at 'Forefront' of Emerging Technology

Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental Systems

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Governor George Pataki Wednesday said the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), through the Syracuse Center of Excellence, will help position New York state at the forefront of an emerging worldwide market for clean energy technologies.

Pataki, in his annual State of the State address, said the college will contribute to a strong biofuel industry through its role in the expanded Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental Systems, which is now broadened to include research and development in renewable and clean energy sources.

“The College of Environmental Science and Forestry applauds Governor Pataki for his vision and support for renewable energy,” said ESF President Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr. “We look forward to enhancing our partnership with Syracuse University; Dr. Edward Bogucz, the center director; and the other collaborating educational institutions and business partners.

“The center’s expanded mission will improve the regional economy and quality of life for all Central New Yorkers,” Murphy said. “The governor’s announcement is in harmony with the Metropolitan Development Authority (MDA) of Syracuse and Central New York’s Vision 2010 Economic Development Strategy, which is clearly taking shape and is beginning to impact the quality of life in Central New York.”

The expanded Center of Excellence is part of Pataki’s Centers of Excellence plan to leverage $3 of industry, federal, university and other funds for every $1 of state investment. In total, the $283 million state investment in Centers of Excellence is expected to generate at least $700 million in industry, federal, university and other support over the next several years.

The plan is designed to provide a critical job-creating bridge between the Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research, long-term research programs such as the Strategically Targeted Academic Research Centers, and the business community.

Pataki’s expansion of the Syracuse center to include renewable energy builds on ESF’s experience and reputation in the field. In March 2002, SUNY Chancellor Robert L. King named ESF as the site for the SUNY Center for Sustainable and Renewable Energy. In that capacity, ESF serves as SUNY’s systemwide voice and research clearinghouse for new developments in biofuels, and other alternative and innovative energy-producing methods.

Under the SUNY center’s umbrella, ESF and other center researchers are:

  • Developing cost effective conversions of cellulose and hemicellulose to sugars for the refining of products like liquid fuels, including ethanol.
  • Installing, in partnership with the New York Power Authority and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, a 250kw molten carbonate fuel cell on the ESF campus, enabling scientists to study extended uses of distributive power to help the SUNY system meet Pataki's goal of reducing energy use while producing renewable energy on the campus for day-to-day use.
  • Designing, in partnership with the MDA, NYPA, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sutton Asset Recovery Group Enterprises Inc., for NYCHIP (NY Clean Heat and Innovative Power), a biomass gasification combined heat and power facility to produce clean, renewable energy for Syracuse manufacturers.
  • Working with the Syracuse Metropolitan Water Board, the Onondaga County Legislature, and O'Brien & Gere Engineers Inc., and state Assemblyman Will Barclay to study drawing deep, chilled water from Lake Ontario for use in creating a municipal cooling district.
  • Developing, with Onondaga Community College, the Syracuse City School District, federal Department of Labor and U. S. Rep. James Walsh, a project called SUNY SPARE, Solar Power As Renewable Energy, with funding to install photovoltaic units and teach regional youth how to maintain them.
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