Governor Cuomo Launches $3 Million Clean Energy Competition for Colleges and Universities in New York State

January 22, 2016

From the Office of Governor Cuomo

Winners to Receive $1 Million for Plans to Advance Clean Energy and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions on Campus and in Local Communities

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched the “Energy to Lead Competition,” which challenges student-led coalitions from New York colleges and universities to design and develop innovative plans for campus and community clean energy projects. The competition, part of the REV Campus Challenge which was announced by the Governor in October, will begin accepting applications this week.

“This competition will engage our future leaders today in this fight against climate change," Governor Cuomo said. "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."

The "Energy to Lead Competition" is part of the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision, or REV, a plan to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. Central to the plan is engaging energy leaders of the future on core issues to help New York achieve its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent, generating 50 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources, and decreasing energy consumption in buildings by 23 percent by 2030.

The $3 million “Energy to Lead Competition,” administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is open to student-led coalitions from two- or four-year public or private colleges or universities. Applications are available on NYSERDA’s website here. Proposals must be submitted by 5 p.m., April 4, 2016.

Richard Kauffman, Chair of Energy and Finance for New York State, said, “This competition provides an opportunity for students to embrace their central role in building a stronger economy and a healthier environment for all New Yorkers by collaborating with faculty, staff and other members of the community to demonstrate innovative and replicable clean energy solutions.”

John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of NYSERDA, said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York has become a national leader in developing innovative energy solutions to protect our environment and grow our economy. We encourage college and university students to take up this challenge alongside faculty, staff and others from their communities to develop their own creative and compelling solutions for campus projects that will reduce carbon emissions, improve resilience, and create a cleaner and healthier environment.”

Submissions should demonstrate innovation in one or more of the following areas: project design, business model, partnerships, and/or curriculum integration. In addition, proposals should describe the project’s potential impact in reducing or mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, as well as how its success can be measured and how the $1 million award would be leveraged to advance the project.

All proposals must feature a least one undergraduate or graduate student from the college or university and be submitted by a faculty or staff member from that institution. Coalitions may include external, third-party consultants or other community members, or represent a collaboration among different institutions on a single project.

Students, faculty or staff interested in participating in the competition can obtain information, including submission guidelines and details about informational webinars to be held Jan. 27, Feb. 10, and March 1, at

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2018, more than 424,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2017-18 academic year. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Its students and faculty make significant contributions to research and discovery, contributing to a $1.6 billion research portfolio. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

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