renewable energy

Solarize Tompkins

Hundreds of central New Yorkers have jumped on the solar power bandwagon. Now Solarize Tompkins, the most successful program getting property owners to go solar, is looking ahead to other alternative energy sources for homeowners looking to break from fossil fuels.

Julia Botero / WRVO

A large solar array is in the works in Jefferson County. A Colorado-based developer plans to fill twenty acres of private farmland in Philadelphia with solar panels by this time next year. 

New York state has agreed to pay 20 percent of the $11 million it will cost to build enough solar panels in Philadelphia to produce 4 megawatts of energy. That's enough to power 700 homes without emitting carbon or burning fossil fuels.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

New technology could play a vital role in the future of renewable energy, and could end up having an impact on consumers' energy bills. Hundreds of people attended last week's 10th Annual Symposium on Energy in the 21st Century, learning about how New York state's energy production and use will change in the next decade.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Environmental activists said there needs to be more emphasis on renewable energy and less on fossil fuels at a hearing on the New York Draft Energy Plan in Syracuse Thursday.  

The New York State Energy plan is a comprehensive economy-wide, multi-year plan put together by the state energy planning board. It’s meant to showcase Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s energy policy.  

Keith Schue, an engineer from Otsego County, said the plan doesn’t have the pieces in place to reach the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions a full 80 percent by the year 2050.

Sarah Cody / Flickr

A less-heralded aspect of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2014 agenda is a plan to increase the number of homes and businesses burning biomass for heat. It has industry advocates excited, even if they have moderate expectations for growth.

It didn’t make his State of the State speech to the legislature, but in the longer, written version of his agenda, Cuomo says he wants to cut down the number of homes that use heating oil.

To do that, Cuomo wants to launch a biomass heating program called Renewable Heat NY.

John S. Quarterman / Flickr

Wind power is saving New York state more than 800 million gallons of water annually, according to the analysis authored by Environment New York’s Research and Policy Center. It also argues wind energy is helping reduce asthma-causing pollutants like sulfur dioxide found in acid rain and soot. Field Director Eric Whalen says the renewable resource will reduce rates of asthma and heart disease that go hand-in-hand with fossil fuels.

Central New York has a lot to be proud of when it comes to going green. That was the message at the Greening USA annual meeting in Syracuse yesterday. But there are still challenges when it comes to making the investment in green energy.

Joanna Richards

Earlier this month, energy company BP announced its entire renewables division was up for sale. At a recent public meeting on the proposed Cape Vincent Wind Farm, a BP official confirmed the company will push ahead with the development anyway, and local leaders vowed to hire experts to help them fight the project.  

WBFO file photo

A recent study outlines a scenario that would see New York state’s energy infrastructure based on close to 100 percent renewable sources by the year 2030.

The Broome County Legislature recently approved a new Office of Energy Development, but the purpose of the office is not clear.

Solar Liberty Foundation

This weekend marked the third anniversary of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated the nation of Haiti. Three years on and the recovery process still has a long way to go, but one organization in western New York has been  helping to bring renewable energy to Haitians still living without power.

A General Motors facility in western New York has announced they are going green. The site in Lockport makes heating and air conditioning components for GM radiators and is the 103rd facility for the company to become landfill-free.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

Solar and wind power have gotten a lot of the attention as promising alternative power sources. But energy extracted from plants, known as biofuels, is also the subject of ongoing research.

A central New York planning agency is moving into the public comment period as it works to create its contribution to a state-wide sustainability plan.

An upstate school is adding a structure that generates its own energy, heating and cooling using renewable energy sources for its teaching spaces. The Harley School in Rochester broke ground on the $3 million project Monday.

Joanna Richards / WRVO

Governor Andrew Cuomo traveled to Fort Drum Monday, where he toured an idled coal plant being converted to produce power using wood biomass.

Cuomo says he is going to send a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta urging the Defense Department to draw up a contract with the plant to provide energy to Fort Drum.