ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Over $5 million is being awarded to four colleges and universities to help them achieve deep energy savings and combat climate change under the Energy to Lead Competition.

Syracuse University, the City College of New York Building Performance Lab, New York Medical College and Vassar College will receive more than $1 million each to develop comprehensive and cost-effective projects that advance building decarbonization while using student input and community engagement. The schools will include two projects that will implement net zero energy performance in retrofit and new construction applications.

As part of the Energy to Lead competition, these campuses will advance clean energy plans that will help achieve New York’s goals to realize a carbon neutral building stock, inspire the next generation of climate leaders and provide opportunities for student engagement. Combined, the projects are expected to save 4,604 metric tons of carbon annually, the equivalent to removing almost 4,000 cars from the road each year.

“The colleges and universities recognized through the Energy to Lead Competition are leading by example and moving our fight against climate change forward by engaging the campus community in one of the most pressing challenges of our time,” NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris said. “Their compelling projects will deliver meaningful carbon reducing results, help develop future climate leaders and improve access to clean energy with solutions that can be replicated and brought to scale.”

Energy to Lead Winners

Syracuse University – 1.3 Million: Will conduct a retrofit project on an existing 8-unit campus dormitory building. The project will produce creative, cost-effective solutions to develop, analyze, and implement net zero energy performance. Additionally, it will evaluate the impact of renewable energy sources, high efficiency systems, and occupant-centric smart building controls to increase energy savings. Students will participate in energy modeling, simulation, and evaluation of building performance. The project will also be promoted and shared with the local community through an exhibit at the University’s Museum of Science and Technology.

The City College of New York – Building Performance Lab – $1.4 Million: Will develop a control based, systematic process for facility staff and building operators to increase their ability to manage and commission major energy consuming systems on campus. The project will deploy, test and document a systematic process to engage students and facilities staff in implementing building automation system-based procedures that offer control of electricity use.

New York Medical College – $1.3 Million: Will design and implement a campus-wide, direct digital control building management system that will combine existing systems with new, advanced controls to create a single system for campus HVAC, chiller and boiler pumps, and lighting controls. Training sessions will be held to help facilities staff optimize system performance and a campus climate action plan will be implemented to inventory campus greenhouse gas emissions and energy use.  The campus will conduct outreach and educational activities to inform students and the community of project progress.

Vassar College – $1.1 Million: Will construct a new, net zero emission building for the college’s Institute for the Liberal Arts along with a dashboard that reports construction and installation progress. It will feature real-time data monitoring to demonstrate project impacts and outcomes. Vassar students will contribute to the project through research and by analyzing building performance metrics to verify savings achieved through net-zero construction.

The Energy to Lead Competition is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and supports colleges and universities that strive to meet their financial, environmental, academic and community goals through clean energy solutions.