Nassau County Awarded $4 million To Lead Long Island Regional Clean Energy Hub

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Hubs will ensure disadvantaged communities benefit from New York’s clean energy transition

Recently, Governor Kathy Hochul announced $4 million in funding for Cornell Cooperative Extension Nassau County (CCE) to establish a Regional Clean Energy Hub (Hub) in the Long Island region as part of an initiative to connect local communities with clean energy resources.

The Hub will unify the region’s clean energy programs and services, and build on the extensive relationships, expertise, and experience of CCE associations and partnering agencies. Regional partners for the Long Island Regional Clean Energy Hub include Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, United Way of Long Island, Renewable Energy Long Island, Hofstra University, Molloy University, and Farmingdale State College.

“CCE Nassau is honored to have been selected by NYSERDA to serve as the lead agency for this important initiative, which is to provide guidance towards a sustainable energy future here on Long Island” said Gregory Sandor, CCE Nassau County’s Executive Director. “We believe our coalition of proven renewable energy and community engagement leaders makes up a superb team and our Long Island Clean Energy Hub is committed to providing solutions that will make a tangible difference in our communities and provide measurable results.”

Through new strategic regional partnerships within the clean energy ecosystem, CCE offices will have greater capacity to connect, coordinate, and deliver clean energy education services to communities. The project supports Governor Kathy Hochul’s nation-leading climate goals outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, as well as the State’s commitment to deliver at least 35 percent of the benefits, with a goal of 40 percent, from clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities and help advance an equitable clean energy transition for all New Yorkers.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) partnered with community-based organizations to establish the Hubs and provide a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to ensure that all New Yorkers have equal access to the benefits of the State’s clean energy transition. In total, 12 Hubs are being established: North Country; Capital District; Finger Lakes; Western New York; New York City (Bronx and Brooklyn; Queens and Staten Island; and Manhattan); Central New York;Mid-Hudson; Long Island; Mohawk Valley; and the Southern Tier.

In addition to the Long Island Hub, three other regional Hubs are also being led by CCE offices, including Mid-Hudson (CCE Dutchess County), Mohawk Valley (CCE Oneida County), and Southern Tier (CCE Tompkins County).

The 12 regional Hubs were selected through a competitive process to advance an inclusive green economy in New York state that focuses on:

  1. Delivering community-based engagement, outreach and consumer awareness of clean energy technologies and opportunities;
  2. Coordinating programs and funding resources to increase participation in clean energy projects;
  3. Conducting equitable stakeholder engagement to incorporate community perspectives and increase public input into NYSERDA’s program, policy, and strategy development;
  4. Increasing local capacity to engage with community residents about clean energy policy, technologies, and opportunities;
  5. Advancing diversity in the clean energy workforce by working with NYSERDA, trade unions, and training providers to help clean energy businesses connect with and hire individuals from priority populations or disadvantaged communities, and increase the number and diversity of participating contractors in the clean energy sector;
  6. Establishing strategic partnerships across the clean energy ecosystem in a particular region to benefit disadvantaged or underserved communities; and
  7. Advancing local projects that address regional barriers that prevent disadvantaged communities from participating in or benefiting from the clean energy economy.
    Funding for the Regional Clean Energy Hubs initiative is part of New York’s nearly $1 billion investment to increase access to energy efficiency and clean energy solutions for disadvantaged communities and is also supported by the Regional Green Gas Initiative.

“The establishment of the Long Island Regional Clean Energy Hub shows the commitment of our region to renewable energy and its benefits, both for the environment and for local industry,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “Suffolk County is confident that, in the hands of CCE Nassau and Suffolk, this initiative will greatly assist in Long Island’s transition to clean energy.”

“I am pleased that the New York State has decided to grant funding to Cornell Cooperative Extension to establish a Regional Clean Energy Hub on Long Island,” said Nassau County Legislator Tom McKevitt. CCE’s experience and knowledge will be crucial in assisting our residents in preparing for a clean energy future.”

“The Cornell Cooperative Extension branches of Suffolk and Nassau counties are jointly committed to creating a more sustainable Long Island,” said Vanessa Pino Lockel, Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk. “CCE Suffolk looks forward to doing our part in this project by helping to assess the needs of the region, ensuring equitable access to resources, and working to provide innovative renewable energy solutions for all Suffolk County communities.”

Theresa Regnante, President and CEO of United Way of Long Island said, “United Way of Long Island looks forward to leveraging our experience in clean energy, energy efficiency, workforce development, and housing as we reduce energy use and costs and help our region to make more informed energy decisions.”

Renewable Energy Long Island Executive Director Gordian Raacke said, “As we accelerate the transition to renewable energy and a climate friendly economy, we must make sure that every Long Island community can participate in, and benefit from, the new green economy. We are honored to be part of this community-based initiative and applaud Governor Hochul for her leadership, as well as NYSERDA and LIPA for partnering to support Long Island’s Regional Clean Energy Hub.”

“We’re very excited about collaborating with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau and the other partners in this effort to assure that residents and businesses in underserved communities realize the economic and environmental benefits of the green energy revolution,” said Lawrence Levy, Executive Director of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University. “What we’ve learned over the years is that just waiting for equity and fairness doesn’t work, not yet. It takes intentionality, and this ‘Hub’ offers a great chance to break down the racial and class barriers that historically have held back people and places of color.”

Long Island residents interested in learning more about the clean energy services available to them are asked to visit https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Regional-Clean-Energy-Hubs

—Submitted by Cornell University PR

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