Clifton Park earns clean energy designation

GAZETTE FILE PHOTO.GAZETTE FILE PHOTO.

CLIFTON PARK — The Town of Clifton Park today it has been designated a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), recognizing its leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy locally.

 Announced by Governor Cuomo in August of 2016, the $16 million Clean Energy Communities initiative supports local government leaders across the State to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities.

Clean Energy Communities advances the Governor’s Reforming the Energy (REV) strategy by demonstrating the importance of communities in helping New York reach its Clean Energy Standard of 50 percent of the state’s electricity coming from renewable energy resources by 2030.

 The Town of Clifton Park has received the designation for completing four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions identified by NYSERDA as part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative. In addition, the designation gives the Town of Clifton Park an opportunity to apply for up to $50,000 toward additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share.

 “We are constantly reviewing town operations and establishing priorities to achieve operational efficiencies that will save money,” said Supervisor Phil Barrett.  “This grant will provide funds to execute initiatives that will save money through new technologies and subsequent reduction in energy usage.”

 “Congratulations to the Town of Clifton Park for its leadership in reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Alicia Barton, President and chief executive officer of NYSERDA said in a statement. “Communities are critical to Governor Cuomo’s ambitious energy strategy to ensure a clean, resilient and affordable energy future for all New Yorkers.”

 Clifton Park is currently reviewing options for the grant funding that will maximize future savings for the town through two prospective initiatives.  The first project would include replacing lighting in the Clifton Park Ice Arena with new fixtures and LED lights.

The arena is very busy throughout the year as the home to Clifton Park Youth Hockey, Shen Hockey, indoor youth lacrosse and the town’s full day summer camp.  New LED lighting in the arena will afford significant savings. The other project under consideration is the replacement of current lighting at the outdoor basketball courts on the Common.  Along with the new lighting, the Town would install a new timer system that would allow personnel to easily and securely manage when the lights are operating.  With both projects, the Town is planning to take advantage of recent technologies and pricing in the realm of LED lighting.

 “The Town of Clifton Park’s Government Re-Thinking Energy & Environment Now (G.R.E.E.N.) Committee worked hard and supported the town board in achieving these accomplishments to date,” said Councilwoman Amy Standaert.

 To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, the Town of Clifton Park completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:

  • Unified Solar Permit – The Town of Clifton Park was one of the first communities in the state to adopt the Unified Solar Permit (in 2014), having worked closely with Sustainable City University of New York (CUNY) on developing the Permit.
  • Benchmarking – On May 8, 2017, the Town of Clifton Park Town Board adopted a resolution to Benchmark the Town’s municipal buildings that are over 1,000 square feet and monitor their energy use over time.
  • Energy Code Enforcement Training – The Town of Clifton Park’s code enforcement staff received free assistance and training from NYSERDA on the New York State Energy Conservation Code using development examples from the Town in 2017.
  • Solarize – The Town of Clifton Park Town Board supported and participated in the Solarize Albany Campaign, resulting in 10 new solar customers within Town, some of which were rooftop installations, while others went for community solar offerings.