Senator Valesky announces $159,000 in funding for alternative energy projects

SYRACUSE, N.Y.—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida), announced two legislative initiatives that will fund alternative energy projects in Central New York.

“These projects represent a wise investment in the future of Upstate New York,” Senator Valesky, Vice President Pro-Tempore said. “Developing technology and delivery of alternative energy sources will provide environmental and economic benefits to all of New York State.”

New York is fast becoming a hub for “green” technology and application. Its institutions of higher education, like Morrisville State College, are leading the way by conducting cutting-edge research on alternative fuel sources and applications.

Biomass is a source of alternative energy that is both renewable and carbon-neutral. Derived from plant matter, it includes species like switchgrass and shrub willow that can be grown in Central New York. 

“By leveraging Madison County’s natural resources and the applied research expertise of colleges like Morrisville State College, biomass energy has the potential to decrease the region’s carbon footprint and energy costs by generating local power from local sources,” Senator Valesky said. 

Senator Valesky has allocated $159,000 for  legislative initiatives that support biomass research and delivery this year.

Morrisville State College will receive $99,000 for operating support, including staff, equipment and software, in its Controlled Environmental Agriculture (CEA) pilot system, which features hydroponics, aquaculture and native algae cultures.  The college is studying potential economic benefits of applied use, including extending the growing season for farmers, decreasing costs to transport local products, and increasing the size of the agricultural workforce.

“Senator Valesky’s efforts to help us secure funding for basic research and support staff will allow us to study the economic feasibility of CEA, to study the impact of integrated control and process systems on the energy consumption and output of the system, and to isolate additional possibilities for the system products and by-products,” Dr. Ray Cross, president of Morrisville State College, said. “We are most appreciative of the Senator’s support for this project and for his commitment to agriculture and to our food production system.”

The New York Biomass Energy Alliance will receive $60,000. The Alliance is comprised of individuals, businesses and organizations working together to promote sustainably-produced and -harvested biomass as a source of renewable energy. Launched in spring 2009, it facilitates cooperation and communication among those interested in biomass energy solutions, including farmers, harvesting and logistics companies, conversion plants and end-users.