Buffalo, New York is no stranger to renewable energy. Only fourteen years after the photovoltaic effect was invented in 1839, the city pioneered its own renewable energy revolution, utilizing the power of Niagara Falls to electrify the city through its transformative Niagara Power Project.
While the later deindustrialization of the Great Lakes region hit the city hard, the legacy of renewable energy is, once again, helping Buffalo, New York as it harnesses projects that aim to revitalize the local real estate sector and its overall economy.
Innovative new projects and initiatives are reshaping and ultimately catapulting the conversation surrounding renewable energy and energy-efficient buildings in Buffalo, New York to more than just a trend, but now as crucial long-term investments.
Localizing Buffalo’s Renewable Energy Future Project
The University of Buffalo (UB) and New York state have created a partnership to focus on its leading project, Localizing Buffalo’s Renewable Energy Future, which seeks to use Buffalo’s electrified infrastructure to power the city’s renewable energy Renaissance. The current plan is to build 100 megawatts of solar plants throughout the city and focus on multiple projects of various sizes. It has the opportunity to turn some of the city’s most depressed former industrial sites into solar showcases, not only providing a more appealing headquarters for Buffalo’s industry, but also adding an incentive to build up the economy.
UB itself has stayed committed to green energy alternatives. They boast two on-campus solar installations, as well as a 4.5 megawatt off-campus installation named Steel Winds. They also purchase all their electricity consumption through renewable energy credits. As a result, they’ve saved millions of dollars each year, a prospect that holds major promise for the overall community, too.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)
Buffalo, New York has also passed the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program which provides capital to commercial and nonprofit property owners so that they can upgrade their buildings with renewable energy and energy-efficient features. These smart features are expected to promote Buffalo’s green energy potential while also creating well-paying employment. This new law is bound to make renewable energy a more enticing financial prospect for real estate investors in the region.
Buffalo’s Mayor Byron W. Brown believes the influx of new renewable energy projects will help reduce Buffalo’s overall carbon footprint while property owners also significantly reduce their energy costs at more efficient rates than previously expected.
Brown says that the city is taking aggressive action to combat the consequences of global climate change and, as a result, is dedicated to promoting programs that provide financial assistance to commercial property owners looking to install renewable energy projects.
Renewable Energy Development Projects
Among the exciting development projects utilizing renewable energy in its designs is the 200-acre Riverview Solar Technical Park, which offers solar energy to all its commercial tenants. The solar applications will help tenants save money by offsetting unstable costs due to traditional energy use.
But large-scale commercial owners and businesses aren’t the only ones to benefit from Buffalo’s renewable energy focus. Other renewable energy initiatives and nonprofits are incorporating geothermal heating with plans to expand. PUSHGreen — Buffalo is one such community-based non-profit organization that runs an energy efficiency program funded by People United for Sustainable Housing. Also, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is a statewide effort to make homes and small businesses address sustainability issues, lower costs, and support local jobs.
Buffalo, New York is experiencing an innovative boom with renewable energy at its core. With statewide support, it looks like it’s not only a fleeting trend, but a long-term revolution for real estate investors, businesses, and workers.