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The New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance collaboration on and support increased investments in clean energy and energy efficiency at CICU member institutions throughout New York.

This agreement recognises a shared interest in improving New York’s economy and environment and supports Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal – the most aggressive climate change programme in the nation, putting the state on a path to economy-wide carbon-neutrality.

Under the agreement, the strategic partnership will focus on exchanging expertise and knowledge while developing programmes that will help both organisations to achieve their clean energy goals and objectives more efficiently, impactfully, and cost-effectively.
 
Among others, NYSERDA and CICU will collaborate on the following key priorities:

  • Formulating an Energy Committee comprised of volunteer CICU member colleges and universities and other relevant member organisations to identify and address emerging energy issues and opportunities for its member institutions.
  • Undertaking an inventory of CICU’s own carbon emissions with the goal of finding where gaps may exist and where NYSERDA may assist CICU in reducing carbon emissions.
  • Developing and releasing a webinar series for the CICU membership using a NYSERDA platform. The Introductory Webinar to Key Decisionmakers is being planned for Winter 2019, with a goal of providing four subsequent webinars a year, in order to provide specific NYSERDA program information or training to CICU members.
  • Promoting NYSERDA workforce development and training programs to mobilise college-educated talent specializing in clean energy solutions into the New York State job market, focusing on targeted placement, fostering knowledge economy enrichment and retention, and facilitating economic growth.
  • Developing and piloting new clean energy and energy efficiency programs targeted at the Higher Education sector as well as exchanging ideas and expertise on ways to modify and improve existing programmes in a manner that can support increased investments in clean energy.
  • Navigating applicable clean energy programs and services available from NYSERDA and utilities and prioritizing investment options through a concierge service NYSERDA offers to provide one-on-one assistance. 

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said: “This MOU is another major step forward in Governor Cuomo’s steadfast commitment to decarbonizing the grid and bringing clean energy solutions for all New Yorkers. Our collaborative partnership will help New York State remain at the forefront of the battle against climate change and ensure all colleges and universities and their students across the state have the opportunity to benefit from the energy transition.”

“Private colleges in New York are already at the forefront of research and development related to climate change and energy efficiency so we are excited to bring our expertise together with NYSERDA’s in this unique partnership. There is no issue of greater urgency or magnitude facing our state and our nation than climate change. It is only by bringing public and private resources together to collaborate that we will make progress toward sustainable solutions,” adds Mary Beth Labate, president of CICU.