Governor announces Syracuse solar power initiative

Environmentally friendly, clean energy production that creates jobs.

Sunny Syracuse? Syracuse touted for having an average of 60 sunny days a year has been selected as New York's hub for solar energy. Ironic yes, but it's no joke.

This morning Governor David Paterson told a large, very enthusiastic crowd at SUNY ESF's Bray Hall that solar energy is a source for our times and that New York is leading the way in clustering this natural resource's industry. This is part of his promise from his State of the State to deliver 45 percent of electricity needed through more efficient, clean renewable energy by 2015.

"This makes Syracuse the place you go to acquire clean and renewable energy," Paterson said. "This puts us ahead of the rest of the country."

By clustering he means placing all parts of the acquiring and delivering solar energy process throughout New York.

For example the silicone needed in manufacturing panels is coming from Niagara, while the solar panels are being produced in Dutchess County. These will then be set up in vacant industrial parks in Syracuse to gather energy stored, then used on the grid under the leadership of the New York Power Authority (NYPA).

Paterson said, the beauty of the clean energy industry is its close proximity to those that actually utilize the power, which makes the jobs outsource proof.

The location of SUNY ESF was primary, as it's staff and students are at the root of encouraging the growth of this emerging industry. Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli noted that this project is a result of the public, private and academic sectors coming together.

"Without the ESF students we wouldn't be doing this kind of work," Mayor Stephanie Miner said.

"This is the largest solar initiative in the state of New York," NYPA's Richie Kessel said adding that the perfect partner of the offshore Great Lakes wind power project that was announced on Earth Day last year.

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