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Fredonia joins 19 NY colleges in renewable energy agreement

The State University of New York at Fredonia is a member of the NY Higher Education Large Scale Renewable Energy (NY HE LSRE) consortium of 20 public and private higher education institutions for the purchase of large-scale aggregated renewable energy.

The consortium represents one of the state’s largest aggregated purchases of renewable energy to date.

“By taking a cooperative approach to the purchase of renewable energy, these campuses will be better able to meet their sustainability goals and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson. “The consortium provides a cost-effective way of achieving campus carbon neutrality, with the power to transform the regional renewable energy market. It also creates important partnership among New York’s higher education institutions.”

“This innovative approach to reducing the cost of renewable energy will help colleges and universities across the state reach their sustainability goals and strengthen our school’s reputation as one of the greenest campuses in the nation,” said Fredonia Interim President Dennis L. Hefner. “By joining this vast partnership, Fredonia will benefit from bulk purchase savings, further reducing our carbon footprint.”

The consortium, made up of 16 SUNY campuses and four private colleges, will use its collective purchasing power to develop new renewable projects by contracting for renewable energy at scale. The process will normalize the cost of electricity for the individual colleges and reduce volatility in each institution’s energy budget. The NY HE LSRE process will eventually expand to all 64 SUNY campuses, which will help advance Governor Andrew Cuomo’s statewide goal of having 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040.

SUNY has already reduced its carbon footprint from 1.02 million metric tons in 1990 to 770,000 metric tons in 2017, decreasing its greenhouse emissions by nearly 25 percent. The reductions in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions come in spite of a 50 percent increase in the system’s total square footage.

Technologies such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, biogas, biofuel, and fuel cells, are expected to be viable sources. The RFP is expected to be issued later this year, with operations to begin as soon as December 2020.

In addition to Fredonia SUNY colleges participating in the NY HE LSRE consortium include: University at Albany, Binghamton University, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Delhi, SUNY Empire State College, SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Geneseo, Hudson Valley Community College, SUNY Maritime, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oneonta, Onondaga Community College, SUNY Oswego and Purchase College. Private institutions include Bard College, Cornell University, Ithaca College and Skidmore College.

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