Sustainable CUNY Named 2017 Visionary of the Year by SEPA

June 27, 2017

The Smart Electric Power Alliance has named Sustainable CUNY the 2017 SEPA Power Players Visionary of the Year. Now in their ninth year, the SEPA Power Players Awards recognize utilities, their industry partners, individuals and other stakeholders on the front lines of energy transformation in the United States that are significantly advancing knowledge of or access to distributed energy resources that benefit electricity consumers and the grid.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Sustainable CUNY, of the City University of New York, formed the Smart Distributed Generation Hub as a pathway to a more resilient, distributed energy system. Working collaboratively, the Hub has already developed significant resources for addressing the key barriers to installing solar and storage in an urban environment, including a NYC Energy Storage Systems locator on the NY Solar Map and Portal.

Blackout of lower Manhattan from Hurricane Sandy

Chosen by a an independent panel of seven judges with diverse experience in the electric power industry, Sustainable CUNY and winners in six other categories will be honored at an awards dinner Wednesday, July 26 during SEPA’s Grid Evolution Summit: A National Town Meeting in Washington, D.C.

“Sustainable CUNY’s role, as a trusted third party has never been more important. Despite the ever-changing political and atmospheric climate, the demand for power is unabated. Our strategic partnerships with New York State and City agencies, municipalities and more than 70 utility, industry and other organizations advances solar, and now solar+storage and helps address climate change,” said Tria Case, the University Director of Sustainability and Energy Conservation. The Chancellor of the City University of New York signed on to the ‘We Are Still In’ commitment to the critical goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.  The future of our planet depends upon the kinds of actions that our University, City and State are already taking to create a clean energy future.”

“Sustainable CUNY’s highly innovative and adaptable program allows New York to sustain the electric grid in times of vulnerability and puts storage at the forefront of a resilient energy system, putting it in a position to be a catalyst for additional storage in New York,” said judge Don Harrod, Village Administrator of  Minster, Ohio, SEPA’s 2016 Public Power Utility of the Year. “The amount of collaboration and different viewpoints taken into consideration and worked into CUNY’s road map is easily replicable in other urban areas.”

“A distributed energy future means not only making the grid cleaner and more efficient, but making it more resilient.The Smart DG Hub is a step toward transforming grid infrastructure to remain reliable during weather related and other threats,” said SEPA President and CEO Julia Hamm. “Moving toward a clean energy future means we will need many more projects like this one, designed to provide benefits to both customers and the grid.”