NYPA - New York Power Authority

03/27/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/28/2024 06:04

New York Power Authority Upgrades HVAC and Water Filtration Systems at Tuscarora Nation School

New York Power Authority Upgrades HVAC and Water Filtration Systems at Tuscarora Nation School

For Immediate Release:03/27/24

Media Relations Contact: [email protected]

New York Power Authority Upgrades HVAC and Water Filtration Systems at Tuscarora Nation School

Energy Efficiency Projects and STEM Climate Learning Workshop Engages Tuscarora Students and Families in New York's Clean Energy Transition

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WHITE PLAINS-The New York Power Authority (NYPA) today announced the completion of a new water treatment system and heating units at the Tuscarora Nation School. The energy efficiency projects at the school were made possible through an ongoing collaboration between the Tuscarora Nation, the Niagara Wheatfield Central School District and NYPA. Power Authority President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll joined school district administrators and Tuscarora Council leaders to celebrate the projects and to view students' energy advocacy work during an assembly at the school.

"The New York Power Authority is committed to sharing its expertise and resources in ways that are meaningful for local communities," said NYPA Chairman and Buffalo resident John R. Koelmel. "These no-cost energy solutions will provide a lasting benefit to students and families in the Tuscarora Nation and attest to the power of public-private partnerships that continue to strengthen the entire Western New York region."

The $934,000 water treatment and heating unit system was funded and implemented by the Power Authority. The Niagara Wheatfield Central School District and the Tuscarora Nation are eligible entities under NYPA's environmental justice program, which conducts customized programs for underserved communities near NYPA facilities-in this case, the Niagara Power Project in Lewiston.

"We are pleased to help the Tuscarora Nation School upgrade the infrastructure systems that serve the children and will make school facilities more energy efficient for years to come," Driscoll said. "The Tuscarora Nation shares a commitment with the Power Authority to address the impacts of a changing climate and focus on energy use and sustainable living. Our partnership supports the next generation and brings us another step closer to achieving New York State's nation-leading clean energy goals."

NYPA's environmental justice team recently engaged the 5th and 6th graders within the Tuscarora Nation School in an environmental advocacy program. Students learned about the energy upgrades happening at their school and ways to work together to conserve energy. Students also developed their own conservation campaigns to share with their peers.

The Tuscarora Nation School, an elementary-level New York State public school, is on Tuscarora Nation land and encourages its students to become competent, caring, independent learners while maintaining their strong connection to language, culture and the history of the Tuscarora Nation.

"Tuscarora School is very grateful for the energy work NYPA completed, and in such a timely manner," said Elizabeth Corieri, principal of Tuscarora Nation School. "The collaboration between NYPA and our 5th- and 6th-grade students made a lasting impression by reinforcing the importance of problem-solving and thinking deeply and creatively about the process of planning a project with a timeline. Students also brainstormed ways to improve our school in the years to come."

The Power Authority worked with the Nation and the school district to conduct an energy audit and identify the most urgent projects. The audit reported that the well water filtration system, boilers and heating and ventilation units all required significant upgrades or replacement.

NYPA upgraded the water filtration and softening systems that remove impurities from the water on its way from the well to the school for use in the kitchen and bathrooms.

The project also involved replacing 11 heating and ventilation units powered by gas to provide heat and air conditioning in the cafeteria, staff room and classrooms with electric units. The new electrified system avoids the use of fossil fuels and makes the units cleaner, safer, and more cost and energy efficient.

The environmental justice team plans additional STEM and career support programs in the Tuscarora school and Niagara Wheatfield Central School District. A workshop on how to weatherize a home will be scheduled for adults in April.

NYPA leadership is committed to providing support to the Tuscarora Nation and other communities located near its assets. The NYPA environmental justice team provides Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education programs, teacher training, mentorships, internships, community workshops and fairs, career support initiatives and energy information for low-income homeowners and renters throughout the state.

"Community collaboration and engagement are the hallmarks of NYPA's Environmental Justice program, which provides meaningful energy-based projects and education to benefit local families and residents," said Kaela Mainsah, vice president of NYPA's Environmental Justice department. "Our team addresses concerns and challenges in a way that makes sense for that particular community. The improvements announced here today were specific requests and we were pleased to be able to work with our friends to help them accomplish their sustainability goals."

As part of the Power Authority's ongoing environmental justice efforts, it completed new energy efficient LED lighting and an energy audit at four Niagara Falls Housing Authority facilities in 2021 and contributed $300,000 to energy upgrades at the Explore & More Children's Museum. Additionally, NYPA funded the purchase of energy efficient refrigerators in more than 250 apartments managed by the Massena Housing Authority, conducted a geo-thermal study for the Utica Municipal Housing Authority, and opened a hydroponics lab for the community at Astoria Houses in Queens.

Senator Tim Kennedy said, "This partnership between the Tuscarora Nation and NYPA is an example of what can be accomplished through a shared vision for environmental justice and investing in the future of our children. I'm thrilled to see this project completed with support from New York."

Assemblyman Angelo Morinello said, "I'd like to thank NYPA for their completed project at the Tuscarora Nation School. The new water treatment and heating system will not only provide a more energy efficient facility for staff and students but will also have a cleaner impact on the environment."


New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

New York State's nation-leading climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities. Guided by some of the nation's most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives, New York is on a path to achieving a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and economywide carbon neutrality by mid-century. A cornerstone of this transition is New York's unprecedented clean energy investments, including more than $46 billion in 65 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, nearly $3 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. These and other investments are supporting more than 170,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector as of 2022 and over 3,000 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the State be zero emission by 2035. Partnerships are continuing to advance New York's climate action with 400 registered and more than 100 certified Climate Smart Communities, nearly 500 Clean Energy Communities, and the State's largest community air monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities across the State to help target air pollution and combat climate change.

About NYPA

NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit www.nypa.govand follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblrand LinkedIn.