$100 million available for ‘clean green’ school construction projects


New York Construction Report staff writer

Construction projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions at public schools can now apply for a share of $100 million available through the Clean Green Schools Initiative under the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act.

Incentive amounts start at $500,000 for qualifying projects leading to improved air quality, increased resiliency, and a pathway toward electrification. Proposals are due on June 6 by 3:00 p.m., ET.

“I look forward to working with DEC’s partners to support this and other green initiatives backed by the Environmental Bond Act,” Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement. “The availability of this funding will support the historic energy transformation in our schools as we strive to meet New York’s climate mandates and promote health and wellbeing, particularly in areas most susceptible to the effects of harmful greenhouse gas pollution.”

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will host a webinar on Feb. 7, at 12:00 p.m. (register here) for schools to learn more about the types of eligible projects, including how they will be evaluated. For continued Clean Green Schools Initiative updates, you can join NYSERDA’s mailing list.

As climate change increases the number of high-heat days, schools across New York are struggling to keep cool due to outdated infrastructure in dire need of repairs or upgrades to clean energy technologies.

The state will encourage communities that receive this funding to install cooling systems that can be opened to the community during extreme heat events to help prevent heat-related illness or death.

“The time to address the significant impacts of climate change on our schools is now, especially in communities that have traditionally been underserved,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris. “The Clean Green Schools Initiative will provide students and educators in these districts with access to healthier learning and teaching environments while helping them to realize the benefits of more sustainable, climate-friendly school buildings.”

The announcement builds on the $14 million in awards by Governor Hochul in October through the Clean Green Schools initiative to 11 under-resourced public school districts to modernize their buildings, lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the school’s reliance on fossil fuels and improve the indoor air quality by installing ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps and electric kitchen equipment.


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