The energy Working Group Goals:
1. Increase the local generation and distribution of renewable
energy 2. Increase energy efficiency of the region’s building stock 3. Reduce energy use through consumer decision-making and behavioral changes Priority Implementation Strategies:
• Perform a resource and lifecycle assessment to evaluate bio-
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mass resources, develop sustainable practices, and determine the capacity for regional biomass expansion and adoption. Pilot high-efficiency, low-emission biomass-based community projects, including district heating; neighborhood pellet systems, and innovative fuel distribution approaches. Provide and increase training opportunities for local contractors for renewable energy installations. Facilitate an increase in solar installation using successful models of residential and community-based solar power, including solar thermal. Promote the expansion of NYSERDA’s and other ongoing programs to enhance the rate and scale of energy retrofits. Establish incentives for energy efficiency and green building projects. Develop guidance for small-scale power systems.
Several factors are essential to the realization of these goals, including increased awareness of conservation measures, expansion and improvement of existing efficiency programs, and increased development of renewable sources of energy through innovation, investment, increased market demand, and legislation. With proper support, existing efforts will continue to expand, allowing the region to fully realize its position in leading New York State in its green energy transition.
Sustainability goals and indicators related to energy were developed with input from the Energy Working Group. The 47 members of the Working Group were drawn from around the region and included representatives from municipal and county planners, development authorities, NYSDEC, NYPA, a number of educational facilities (SUNY Canton, SUNY Plattsburgh, Clarkson University, Cornell Cooperative Extension, St. Lawrence University, and the North Country School), private firms (Fourth Coast, ReEnergy, Yellow Wood Associates, Azure Mountain Power, Crest Solar, Greenway Energy Solutions, Honeywell, Lyme Timber, and Kruger Energy), community facilities (The Wild Center), and special focus groups, including the North Country Clean Energy Conference, New York State Tug Hill Commission, St. Lawrence Seaway Energy Task Force, Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA), Northern Forest Center, and the Community Power Network of New York State. Group discussions were held to identify areas of key opportunity and barriers to achieving sustainable energy generation, supply, and consumption in the region. The goals that emerged were used to develop implementation strategies for energy sustainability and to provide the tools necessary to measure progress and establish targets. A number of implementation strategies are highlighted in this chapter, including programs and practices to improve the efficiency of energy use in the region, contribute to energy conservation, and support the implementation of community- and local-scale renewable energy generation, particularly biomass.
North Country Region Sustainability Plan