Application to Congressman Hinchey Designed to Support Sustainable, Clean Energy Funding for New Paltz Middle School
NEW PALTZ–Thanks to Congressman Maurice Hinchey, the New Paltz Central School District is hoping to secure some additional funding for the anticipated costs of High Performance energy options included in its proposed Middle School addition and renovations that is being placed before voters on February 9.
The Solar Energy Consortium (TSEC), a not-for-profit group that provides funding, facilities, personnel, and support for research/development, application/design, pilot manufacturing, and related activities to further energy resources conservation and development, is submitting a $470,000 Appropriations Application for government funding on behalf of the New Paltz Central School District through Congressman Hinchey’s office. The $470,000 sought from the State’s Energy and Water Bill would be used to fund a portion of the solar electric and solar thermal systems included in the New Paltz Middle School’s proposed renovations in order to improve the energy efficiency of the building and demonstrate the use of renewable energy sources for students, staff, and community.
Many High Performance opportunities designed to provide a healthy and productive environment that is cost effective to maintain and operate, as well as preserves natural resources while conserving energy, were included in the plans developed to address the antiquated Middle School’s educational and infrastructural deficiencies. The final plans will be designed using NY-CHPS High Performance School Guidelines and the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ to achieve maximum sustainability and lower operating costs. Examples include the use of a 40KW Photovoltaic System for the roof to help produce a portion of the electricity, a solar thermal system for hot water, and finally a geothermal heating and ventilation (HVAC) system.
The TSEC project has designated approximately $310,000 toward these systems with an additional $160,000 for solar hot water systems. If approved, the funding from Congressman Hinchey’s appropriations would offset the project expenses and thereby lower the local share of the project cost.
“It was important that we address the existing building’s carbon footprint for energy loss, which is significant and represents the opposite of Green community values. It is for this reason that the potential renovations and construction to the New Paltz Middle School will be undertaken with the responsibility and good environmental stewardship that is held in the highest regard by the New Paltz community and is a priority of the Board of Education,” says Kathleen (KT) Tobin-Flusser, a member of the New Paltz Board of Education who ran for the Board on a platform that embraced a responsible green approach to creating a 21st Century New Paltz Middle School at its current location.
“This project will provide a model for sustainable energy use in a public school setting and incorporate those technologies into the curriculum. It will also serve as a model for other schools in New York State,” says Tobin-Flusser.
Interest in the use of green technologies goes further than the New Paltz community, however. The Hudson Valley region is the home of many businesses and a strong employment and training program focused on sustainable, clean energy services. The TSEC application highlights the fact that the proposed $49.8 million New Paltz project will generate work for skilled green technology construction workers, architects, and engineers. The maintenance of the buildings’ renewable energy systems will also demand a skilled workforce in these new technologies. The local Clean Energy Training Academy (CETA), offered through Ulster BOCES in partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), is recognized as a leader in New York State in the field of photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind, geothermal and weatherization/energy efficiency education and training.
“As the school is in the center of the town, it also provides a clear statement regarding the community’s commitment to energy efficiency, sustainability, and green technology,” concludes Tobin-Flusser.
ABOUT THE SOLAR ENERGY CONSORTIUM (TSEC):
Vision & Mission
The Solar Energy Consortium envisions a world where solar energy is everywhere, supplying clean, reliable, sustainable power.
The Solar Energy Consortium’s (TSEC) mission is to double the efficiency of photovoltaic systems, to halve the installed cost of solar energy systems, to simplify the installation of solar energy systems, and to develop unique photovoltaic forms for use in urban environments.
Sine 2007, TSEC has been working as a not-for-profit 501 (C) (3) to meet the demand for energy independence and sustainability in New York State and nationally. According to its website, TSEC exists for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes in order to support and foster scientific research and technology development and disseminate advances in knowledge in the fields of basic and applied research on solar energy products, systems, and services. TSEC provides funding, facilities, personnel, and support for research and development, application and design, pilot manufacturing, and related activities to further energy resources conservation and development.
TSEC has partners across the world, working daily to advance the leading edge of photovoltaic technology, to commercialize technology through new company formation, and to help smaller businesses and labs for these emerging technologies to be successful. TSEC also works closely with its partners and government at all levels to ensure they have the necessary information to make informed decisions about solar energy.
For more information about The Solar Energy Consortium (TSEC), visit their website at http://thesolarec.org.
U.S. Green Building Council on Green Schools: www.greenschoolbuildings.org