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ESF-NYSERDA Partnership Powers Up

Baker Laboratory solar array turned on

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SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) President Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Paul D. Tonko Friday flipped the switch on a 23 kw (kilowatt) photovoltaic array built on the south wall of ESF’s Baker Laboratory as part of a $29 million rehabilitation project using the latest in green construction practices.

Combined with the photovoltaic (PV) array installed earlier this year on the roof of Walters Hall and the carbonate fuel cell that went to full power this past spring, the new Baker PV system means 20 percent of the college’s electricity needs now come from alternative, renewable energy resources.

President Murphy said, “We at ESF are moving down the path to be carbon neutral. We are making this investment because it is the right thing environmentally for our campus. It also gives us credibility to teach green to our students and encourage the Central New York community to adopt similar practices.”

“None of this would be possible without the encouragement and support of NYSERDA,” Murphy continued.

NYSERDA President Tonko said, “NYSERDA’s commitment to transform the way we produce and consume electricity is following Gov. Spitzer’s leadership and striving to reduce energy consumption by 15 percent by 2015. Our PV and wind incentive programs reduce installation costs by about one-half for residential and commercial systems.”

Tonko also noted that NYSERSDA helped fund the installation of the ESF fuel cell combined heat and power system that provides power and supplemental steam to the college and is included as part of the ESF student curriculum.