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$100M in Funding Available for Clean Green Schools


The state has announced $100 million is now available through the Clean Green Schools Initiative under the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act. The initiative will allow for the advancement of construction projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help public schools improve environmental sustainability and decarbonize school buildings. According to Governor Kathy Hochul’s office the announcement supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050 and ensure at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits from clean energy investments be directed to disadvantaged communities.

“Creating a safe and healthy learning environment is critical to providing our children the best education possible,” Governor Hochul said. “These investments will make our school facilities cleaner and more sustainable – and will have a tremendous positive effect on future generations of students.”

As climate change increases the number of high-heat days, schools are struggling to keep cool due to outdated infrastructure in dire need of repairs or upgrades to clean energy technologies. To help address this, Governor Hochul announced in this year’s State of the State that New York will expand funding for cooling capacity for schools while they decarbonize through the Clean Green Schools program.

Currently, this program serves under-resourced public schools and helps them become sustainable, resilient and healthy learning environments in their community by upgrading to clean energy technologies to mitigate indoor air quality from pollution and wildfires. This investment will also protect against extreme heat by prioritizing funding for efficient cooling systems in schools serving vulnerable populations. The state will encourage communities that receive this funding to install cooling systems that can be opened to the community during extreme heat events to help prevent heat-related illness or death.

NYSERDA will host a webinar on February 7, 2024, at 12:00 p.m. ET (register here) for schools to learn more about the types of eligible projects, including how they will be evaluated. For continued Clean Green Schools Initiative updates, please join NYSERDA’s mailing list here.


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