Kingston receives $1.8 million grant for energy upgrades and $1.5 million for photo center
When it comes to meeting New York State’s ambitious energy goals, which are paid for with federal money, the city of Kingston is not without ambition. Last week, the state energy research and development agency, Nyserda, awarded the city a $1.8 million grant for energy efficiency upgrades at Kingston City Hall and the nearby Andy Murphy Neighborhood Center, according to the city government’s grants administration office. Kingston’s successful grant application described the two buildings as a Midtown clean energy center that would showcase solar systems, heat pumps and a thermal energy grid. The buildings that need “skin upgrades” and new heating systems will be completely converted to electricity. Underground wells and heat pumps could produce excess energy.
“Kingston is committed to adapting to the future envisioned by the Climate Act,” explained a press release from Nyserda, “and becoming a leader in the clean energy space by building on the success of previously completed energy efficiency projects, including improved lighting and the installation of a solar array System and window inserts as well as the reduction of electricity and gas consumption.”
The energy hub would bring more on-site solar power and vehicle charging, and add rainwater and thermal infrastructure for the community. The hub’s excess energy could become an energy storage device. This opportunity could open up vast new opportunities for the city to share its surplus with its neighbors — at a cost.
“This is the beginning of Kingston’s Thermal Energy Network (TEN), which is owned by the city, anchored in this project, and has the potential to connect to the hospital, high school and other buildings in the area,” reads in the press release from Nyserda.
“Secure and reliable electrical power from solar, wind and other renewable sources, combined with energy storage, will help make end users more vulnerable to fossil fuel disruptions and price volatility,” said Sarah Osgood, executive director of the New York State Climate Action Council.
The grant to Kingston is part of a $12 million package Nyserda announced last week. Poughkeepsie and Tannersville are among the nine other recipients.
The funds in Poughkeepsie will help fund the conversion of a former manufacturing facility into offices for environmental non-profit organization Scenic Hudson and spaces for local business meetings and community events. The project will achieve carbon neutrality by minimizing energy loads, using highly energy-efficient, all-electric air source heat pumps and generating energy via photovoltaic systems.
The Catskill Mountain Foundation of Tannersville has built an extensive arts and cultural center in the small hamlet of Greene County, funded in large part by a $10 million federal grant. The new Nyserda grant will pay for energy-saving improvements in a recently built, state-of-the-art, five thousand square meter building housing a dance studio.
Locally generated energy, a reality in the 19th century, is making a major comeback in the 21st century.
Scholarship for the photo center
It must be Christmas time. In other news, Kingston found Tuesday morning that a new state program, the Restore New York Communities Initiative, announced $102 million “to redesign our state’s downtown areas and transform vacant, derelict and underutilized buildings into vibrant community anchors transform”.
As part of this program, Kingston received $1.5 million to “adaptively repurpose and rehabilitate a 40,000-square-foot former cigar factory to enable organization [The Catskill Center for Photography] to move from a much smaller space to expand its growing arts and culture programs in Midtown Kingston, a thriving creative arts district.”
The building at 19 Progress Street was previously owned by M&E Manufacturing which has relocated to the city of Ulster.
“Restore NY is revitalizing our urban centers and is an important tool in the economic development toolkit for rebuilding communities that need it most,” said Hope Knight, CEO of Empire State Development. “This funding will help local governments find solutions to ailing buildings so they can move forward towards a brighter future.”
The 45-year-old, soon to be renamed the Center for Photography at Woodstock, had counted on a large government grant for his ambitious fundraising efforts. The funding came on December 20th.
The organization’s email answering machine was full on December 20 and was unable to accept messages.