Under Executive Order 1-2019, Ulster County purchases 100% of its electricity from renewable sources through a combination of on-site generation, distributed generation, renewable energy certificates and utility green power products.
Through Executive Order 1-2019, the County is also committed to supplying 100% of its annual building and fleet electricity usage from locally generated renewable energy sources by the year 2030.
Renewable Power Projects
Ulster County installed its first photovoltaic (PV) solar array on a county-owned facility, providing roughly 75% of the energy demand for the salt shed operations located at the Ulster County Fairgrounds.
In addition, the County is embarking on a utility-scale solar project at the SUNY Ulster Community College and at the former landfill site in the Town of Ulster with the potential to ultimately generate 20% of the County's electricity.
The County has been recognized for its commitment to renewable energy in the following ways:
- The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named Ulster County as one of the leaders in green power use and environmental sustainability, most recently ranking the County as the 26th largest green power user on their 'Top 30 Local Government’ list, which represents the 30 largest green power users among local governments in the Nation. The County was recognized as a 2015 Green Power Purchasing leader by US EPA and was inducted into the elite 2016 EPA Green Power Leadership Club (GPLC) for its commitment to purchasing 100% of electricty from renewable energy.
- Ulster County is also the first community in the State of New York to be designated a Clean Energy Community by The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), recognizing the County’s “leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy in its communities.” This initiative, launched by Governor Cuomo in 2016, allots $16 million in funds to support local government leaders across the State implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities, advancing the State’s Reforming the Energy (REV) strategy to reach the State’s Clean Energy Standard mandate which requires 50 percent of the state's electricity to come from renewable energy resources by 2030. The designation gives Ulster County an opportunity to apply for up to $250,000 toward additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share.
- The County has been designated New York State’s ninth “Climate Smart Community” and was presented with a bronze-level certification (as of 2016, only two other communities in NY have achieved bronze-level certification) for taking action to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions and improving climate resilience.
- Ulster County also received the National Association of Counties (NACo) 2015 Achievement Award for the “County Footprint Reduction Program” which was designed to reduce Ulster County’s carbon footprint, achieve carbon neutrality in a fiscally responsible way, and serve as a model and guide for other local governments to follow in the pursuit of carbon neutrality.
In addition to its commitment to operate on 100% renewable energy and expand onsite solar generation, Ulster County also supports the expansion of residential, commercial and municipal renewable energy deployment in the region by:
- Establishing the Energize NY Finance Program that enables long-term, affordable Property Assessed Clean Energy financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at commercial buildings and not-for-profits. Ulster County has programs available to help businesses and nonprofits make energy improvements to buildings that are expected to reduce building energy and maintenance costs and that may ultimately increase their value and appeal. With the Energize NY (PACE) Finance Program now part of the County's economic development offerings, commercial and nonprofit building owners can get guidance and low cost, long-term financing for energy improvements such as solar, efficient heating and cooling systems, and smart controls. Click here to learn more and get started: http://commercial.energizeny.org/
- Supporting the Solarize Hudson Valley (SHV); is an innovative, successful program that makes it easier and more affordable for homes and small businesses to go solar through community-wide education, pre-qualified installation partners and group purchasing discounts. Solarize Hudson Valley is a three-year partnership between Sustainable Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountainkeeper’s RenewableNY program, funded by the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA).To find out more information on residential solar, visit the Solarize Hudson Valley website: http://solarize-hudsonvalley.org