N.Y. Power Authority OKs $2.2 Million for Measures to Create Green Research Center at Historic Clarkson Building (photo and caption)

Maura Balaban
(914) 390-8171

October 2, 2012


Photo and Caption

WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) will provide $2.2 million of funding to Clarkson University for the planning, design and installation of energy efficiency measures at the institution’s Old Main Building on its downtown Potsdam campus. The improvements represent one aspect of a larger renovation, expected to begin in 2013, that will transform the century-old building into a “green” data, research and education center for the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, a think tank devoted to comprehensive real-time monitoring of the changing character of river environments. The institute is a subsidiary of Clarkson University, with operations in Beacon—in the Hudson Valley—and in Potsdam. 

“I was heartened to hear the news earlier this year that this beautiful example of Potsdam Sandstone will be restored to academic life as a new green research center, but I am even happier now to think that the Power Authority will have a hand in the process,” said Judge Eugene L. Nicandri, a NYPA  trustee and Massena resident.  “This project represents a ‘win’ for historic preservation, education, and the environment as well as for the economy of Northern New York, and I applaud the various institutions and agencies that are working to make it happen.”

“We are very pleased to work with Clarkson University on the adaptive re-use of this beautiful old building and the incorporation of distinctly contemporary green materials and features, which are consistent with the statewide sustainability goals of Governor Cuomo,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “Not only will the project restore a stunning turn-of-the-century building for generations to come, the planned research center will help establish New York as a center for water study and innovation.”

“Clarkson University is proud to be developing one of the first green data centers in New York and even prouder of the environmental research that will be forthcoming,” said Anthony G. Collins, Clarkson University president. “It’s particularly fitting that this exciting project will also help extend the life of this beautiful architectural landmark.”

On Sept. 24, the NYPA Trustees redirected $2.2 million from the remainder of a $10 million grant originally designated for construction of a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building for the Beacon Institute at Denning’s Point State Park in Beacon, on property owned by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservations (OPRHP).  The grant was approved by the NYPA trustees in 2004.

When plans for the facility’s Beacon site changed, OPRHP petitioned NYPA to redirect some of the funding toward green building technologies for the Beacon Institute’s Old Main Building at Clarkson’s Potsdam campus. The balance of the funds will be used by OPRHP for ongoing implementation of green building technologies at the Denning’s Point site.

The renovation of the Old Main Building, which is currently unoccupied, is expected to cost about $8 million.  This includes the $2.2 million grant from NYPA to fund the energy efficiency improvements.  The measures are expected to include new windows plus the replacement of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

About NYPA:

■The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.■It is the nation's largest state public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■Approximately 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower. Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state.■For more information,

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