Fulton and Montgomery counties have $250,000 opportunity

GLOVERSVILLE – Municipalities in Fulton and Montgomery counties have a chance to apply for up to $250,000 for clean energy projects through a state program.

Dan Sullivan of the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District said the Clean Energy Communities Program, run through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, gives funding to municipalities for undertaking clean energy programs and initiatives.

Every one of the 170 municipalities in the six county Mohawk Valley Region, which encompasses Fulton, Montgomery, Herkimer, Oneida, Otsego and Schoharie counties, would be eligible for the funding. Sullivan said 18 awards in total for each state designated Regional Economic Development District, including the Mohawk Valley Region Economic Development District, would be given.

Sullivan said in Gloversville, the city is discussing using the funds to help pay for an additional hydroelectric turbine at the water plant to produce clean energy.

“[NYSERDA] wants to support projects that increase energy efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions,” Sullivan said. “That’s the goal of this whole program. They want to bring up the use of clean energy technologies, like solar, but also a strong emphasis on efficiency and energy savings.”

Sullivan said the Common Council is interested in applying for the funds and have already held a strategy session about the grant.

“Gloversville is moving quickly and decisively, which is great,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said the program is a two step process. Municipalities first needing to get themselves designated as a clean energy community by completing four out of 10 possible high-impact actions, including undertaking solar campaigns, converting street lights to LED or streamlining the solar process.

Communities such as Gloversville and the city of Johnstown would be able to apply for $100,000 in funding as a small/medium city. Fulton and Montgomery counties would both be able to apply as large municipalities.

Sullivan said each region will be able to give four awards of up to $250,000 for large municipalities and 14 awards for small to medium-sized municipalities. Since only the city of Utica has the necessary population to meet the large city designation of 40,000 or more, the state is allowing counties to apply for the grants as well.

“It’s a pretty good chance for them to get designated. There are only five large communities in the entire Mohawk Valley. If four of them apply they’ll all get it,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said he hopes to meet with the Fulton County Board of Supervisors soon about the program. Sullivan said he has already met with Montgomery County Legislature.

“[Montgomery County] Economic Development agency is beginning work on their impact actions,” he said.

Sullivan said communities get to chose a project themselves.

“It’s a project of their design. It has to meet certain parameters of NYSERDA, but it’s completely the municipalities idea,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said the MVEDD is helping municipalities in the six county Mohawk Valley Regional Development District to apply for the program.

“With this program we provide technical assistance for them to get the grant ready for approval,” Sullivan said.

Applications for the grant are due into the state by Sept. 2019, although grant can and will be given out well before that time frame.

Kerry Minor can be reached at [email protected].

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