New York Offers Funds for Local Energy and Microgrids in Low-Income Areas

June 27, 2017
New York is making $325,000 available to provide technical assistance for communities developing local energy and microgrids for social justice or low-to-moderate income (LMI) areas.

New York is making $325,000 available to provide technical assistance for communities developing local energy and microgrids for social justice or low-to-moderate income (LMI) areas.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority today announced the program. Proposals are due from community-based organizations by August 31, 2017.

Eligible projects include microgrids, community solar, district geothermal or biomass, and aggregated energy efficiency and weatherization.

NYSERDA will select up to five organizations through a competitive process for a maximum award of $65,000 each. The organizations can use the money to secure technical assistance for  planning and developing community-scale clean energy projects.

The state is encouraging community organizations, finance institutions, foundations, utilities, local governments, and project developers to work together on applications.

About 40 percent of households in the state fall into the low to moderate category, which means they earn less than 80 percent of the median income in their area. The state defines environmental justice communities as low-income and minority communities that have historically been burdened by environmental problems.

NYSERDA will work with the selected organizations to develop a set of toolkits that will be tested and refined throughout the project planning and development process. The toolkits will then be made available to community-based organizations across the state to use.

The program is one of several sponsored by the state to encourage clean energy and move New York toward its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

The state is offering the money through ReVitalize, an initiative set up with the recognition that low-income communities often lack the technical expertise and financial resources to develop local energy. This puts them at a disadvantage as the state develops its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) policies. REV creates a market platform that gives local energy a larger role in generating power in New York.

“New York continues to make investments that help drive locally driven, economically sound solutions to the challenges faced by LMI customers,” said Alicia Barton, NYSERDA’s newly appointed president and CEO. “The REVitalize initiative strongly supports Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading clean energy strategy and helps ensure all New Yorkers, including low- to- moderate-income, have access to clean energy opportunities.”

The application is available on NYSERDA’s website.

Track news about local energy and microgrids by subscribing to the Microgrid Knowledge newsletter. It’s free.

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

Twitter: @ElisaWood

LinkedIn: Elisa Wood

Facebook:  Microgrids


Design for Purpose Microgrids – Water and Wastewater

Nov. 3, 2023
Michael Boswell, vice president, power & infrastructure at Concord Engineering discusses microgrid designs for water and wastewater.


How Microgrids Save Schools Money

Utility costs make up a large percentage of a school or university’s spending budget. A new white paper from Mesa Solutions outlines the economic benefits that campus microgrids...