Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Secure Key Committee Approval of Over $1.5 Million for CUNY Energy Institute

Jul 10, 2009

U.S Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the
Senate Green Jobs & New Economy Subcommittee, announced that the
Senate Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development has allocated
$1,550,000 in grant funding to City University of New York’s (CUNY)
Energy Institute. This grant will allow
CUNY to develop advanced, sustainable and economical energy
technologies with low carbon footprints. This sustainable energy
strategy will match the federal goals of the new Administration to
promote and expand the Green Economy. The center would also create
immediate employment for 50 professionals with the potential for adding
500 jobs as a result of spinoff projects.

funding is great news for both CUNY and Brooklyn,” Schumer said. “It is
critical to the environment and the economy that we decrease our
dependence on traditional energy sources. By providing federal funding
to the CUNY Energy Institute, we will be able to accomplish this goal
by developing sustainable energy technologies that can be applied
throughout Brooklyn.”

best way to stem the tide of global climate change is to end America’s
dependence on carbon-based energy and invest in clean, homegrown energy
sources,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This investment will not only
address global climate change, but spur economic growth, create
hundreds of green collar jobs right here in Brooklyn and move America
forward on a path to energy independence.”

Institute will focus on the establishment of two complementary
system-level test beds that could demonstrate the substitution of
energy produced from domestic resources other than oil and include
electrochemical storage of sufficient electricity from excess
night-time capacity and ‘renewable’ sources to provide all the
on-demand peak-power needed for a large CUNY building that would
demonstrate the potential for reduction in hydrocarbon use in the
residential, commercial sector without incurring significant economic
penalties. It will also include high-performance electrochemical
electricity storage to provide sufficient range for largely-electric
vehicles to enable family transportation and function as mobile
electricity storage assets for utilizing off-peak and renewable
generating capacity that would demonstrate the potential for reduction
in hydrocarbon use to meet the needs of the transportation sector
without significant economic penalties.

sustainable energy strategy that the CUNY Energy Institute is expected
to advance envisions electricity generated from renewable but
intermittently available resources, such as sun, wind, and waves; low
carbon emitting electricity generation, such as nuclear, fossil
fuels/carbon sequestration; and excess off-peak capacity being
efficiently stored and regenerated to power the needs of
largely-electric, energy-efficient transportation, industrial and
residential sectors. This would enable domestic energy sources to be
substituted for imported oil and create substantial reductions in
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions thereby reducing the use of fossil fuels
and better utilizing generation capacity by improved and more efficient
demand-side energy management. This offers a viable alternative to the
previous national focus on hydrogen as an energy storage and
distribution medium, proposing instead to capitalize on enhancement and
development of the existing infrastructure for electricity production,
storage and distribution.

CUNY Energy Institute was established by The City University of New
York (CUNY) Board of Trustees to aggregate expertise of the CUNY
Colleges in developing advanced and sustainable energy technologies
with low carbon footprints. The Energy Institute grew out of the CUNY
Clean Fuels Institute, which in its earliest stages investigated clean
coal combustion in fluidized beds and evolved to include
thermal-storage technologies for solar-thermal plants. The Clean Fuels
Institute was incorporated into the newly-formed Energy Institute this
year to cover a broader range of energy technologies. Approximately 20
science and engineering faculty drawn from various CUNY colleges such
as CCNY, Hunter College, Brooklyn College, Queens College, College of
Staten Island and Queensborough Community College are affiliated with
the Institute and will serve as principal investigators for the
program’s proposed activities. The Institute’s investigators will also
collaborate with other US universities and the Brookhaven National
Laboratories, giving the program a national dimension.