Policy Initiatives and Energy Projects: SASD has facilitated solar installations at two County facilities and the development of a comprehensive Climate Action Plan for addressing the causes and impacts of climate change, which was adopted by the County legislature in 2014. In
2015, SASD is also working with six Sullivan County towns to develop individualized energy and climate action strategies through the Climate Smart Communities Program, and continues to recruit additional towns and villages to participate in the program. Most recently, we guided the County through its first Power Purchase Agreement for a 2MW solar installation, and worked with the global engineering firm Booz Allen Hamilton to develop proposals for micro grid demonstration projects in Liberty and Monticello. The micro grid projects have been approved for funding for feasibility studies through the New York Prize program. SASD identified critical infrastructure, convened meetings of key stakeholders, gave informational presentations to town and village boards, and secured letters of support from potential participating institutions and town, state and national leaders.
All of these projects involve deep cooperation among a range of stakeholders. For example, the Sullivan County Climate Action Plan represents collaboration between SASD and various legislators, town and village officials, and County divisions and departments, including the Divisions of Planning and Public Works, the Departments of Purchasing and Central Services, Public Health Services, and Emergency Management/Homeland Security. Fifteen community leaders with broad professional experience served on the Sullivan County Climate Action Planning Advisory Board, which met monthly for more than a year to establish policies and goals. SASD is experienced at convening and managing collaborative efforts on the scale of the proposed Sullivan County CCA. SASD’s advocacy, counseling and outreach efforts have helped attract more than $4.5 million to
Sullivan County that has been invested in sustainable energy projects including feasibility studies, energy audits and retrofits, and wind, solar electric and solar-thermal installations. SASD has also helped secure more than $1.6 million in federal funding to help schools, small businesses and farms install photovoltaic systems. In addition to generating economic activity at the local level, these projects have helped reduce GHG emissions and achieve substantial energy cost savings for Sullivan County stakeholders.
In 2010-2012 SASD conducted a countywide survey of potential sites for medium scale wind farms and in 2013-2014, assembled an inventory of County-owned properties with significant solar resources.