NY renewable energy projects receive US$11m

“The projects announced today embody New York’s continued leadership in the clean energy economy and demonstrate the innovative approaches needed for us to achieve dramatic increases in our energy efficiency,” says Governor David Paterson.

“The products that emerge from these initiatives will help create jobs and develop the tools needed to help us mitigate our impact on the environment for the next generation.”

The funds will support demonstration projects, new product development and feasibility studies for renewable energy. Funded initiatives include 7 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, five wind power projects, 7 electric storage projects, two waste-heat reuse projects, and one project each in fuel cell and kinetic hydropower.

The 25 renewable energy proposals were selected from 71 submissions. The funding will leverage another US$11m of private sector investment to bring total funding for these projects to US$22m.

The funding supports technological advances that could benefit a variety of applications including small- and large-scale electric generators, mass transit, farming, hand-held electric devices and others. NYSERDA will use US$4m of funds from the proceeds of the Regional Greenhouse Gas (RGGI) cap and trade auctions, and US$7m from Systems Benefit Charge funds.

Demonstration projects

Demonstration projects will receive US$4.7m of NYSERDA funds and include:

  • Graphene Devices of Williamsville, develop the manufacture and application of grapheme films (a one-atom thick layer of carbon) to substitute for high-cost materials used in transparent conductive coatings for solar PV devices;
  • Solar Sentry of Pittsford, develop a wiring-string maximizer to improve performance and extend the life of solar PV installations by detecting individual faulty modules so they do not impede surrounding module performance;
  • AWS Truewind of (Albany, develop a plant analyst program for monitoring and optimizing wind plant equipment performance;
  • City University of New York, develop a rechargeable flow-assisted nickel-zinc battery for cost-effective applications;
  • Ultralife of Newark, demonstrate benefits of co-locating a large lithium-ion battery storage system to modulate power sent to the grid with a 600 kW wind turbine to be erected at SUNY Canton;
  • Electrical Power WorX of Alfred, demonstrate a trackside ultra-capacitor energy storage system that features high-capacity rapid charge and discharge without moving parts;
  • Sojitz of New York City, demonstrate a stationary high-capacity lithium-ion battery system to capture and release energy created by subway train regenerative braking;
  • Verdant Power of New York City, conduct a pilot hydrokinetic demonstration of three new Gen5 turbines and an improved channel-mounting system in the East River off Manhattan; and
  • EMG International of Westtown, demonstrate a small dairy farm anaerobic fluidized-bed digester that will convert manure to biogas for generating electricity.

Renewable feasibility studies

Feasibility studies will receive US$2.6m of NYSERDA funds and include:

  • Magnolia Solar of Albany, develop structured nanoparticle coating for thin-film solar PV cells that could double their performance and potentially halve their cost;
  • Precision Electro Minerals of Niagara Falls, establish a fused silica crucible manufacture for solar-grade silicon used in making single-crystal solar PV cells;
  • University of Rochester, develop nanotechnology-enabled processing for inexpensive and more efficient thin-film silicon solar PV cells;
  • RNY Solar of Victor, perform feasibility studies on solar-splitting concentrator modules that could improve solar collection by 100%;
  •  SUNY Binghamton, develop new materials using nanofabrication techniques to create a solar-thermoelectric generator that uses the heat of solar radiation structure to make electricity;
  • Customized Energy of Endicott, study various electric storage devices to power refrigerated trailers while transporting produce;
  • Expansion Energy of Tarrytown, develop an energy storage system using steam to produce compressed liquid air for storage which can later be released for energy generation;
  • SUNY Albany Nanoscience, perform R&D studies on nanoscale materials for a more standardized and cost-efficient fabrication of micro fuel cells and batteries;
  • Aero City of Claverack, work on a small-scale wind turbine speed controller that would benefit the cost-effectiveness of residential or small commercial wind machines;
  • Mechanical Solutions of Albany, study non-intrusive equipment health-monitoring system for wind turbine generators;
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, develop active vibration and flow control system using synthetic jets for wind turbine blades;
  • Clarkson University of Potsdam, develop a strain-monitoring tool for wind turbine generator rotors; and
  • Energy Research of Staten Island, study use of laser monitoring when biomass is blended along with coal in generating stations to avoid ash-slagging problems associated with biomass.

Renewable energy product development

Renewable energy product development will receive US$4.1m of NYSERDA funds and include:

  • Ener-G-Rotors of Schenectady, improve its 50 kW prototype Rankine Cycle waste heat-electric generator;
  • Mohawk Innovative of Albany, develop and demonstrate a scalable modular Rankine cycle turbo-generator line; and
  • MTI Micro Fuel Cells of Albany, conduct a field trial of 200 hand-held, mobile fuel cell chargers for portable electronic devices.

All contracts feature milestone payments and many seek recoupment by NYSERDA if and when products developed with funding are sold on the open market.  All projects will benefit New York by being located in the state and having the potential to create new research, industry and jobs within New York.