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Schenectady Receives 2018 US Mayors’ Climate Protection AwardAustin and Schenectady Mayors Win Top Honors for Climate Protection Efforts
SCHENECTADY – The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) announced that the Mayors of Austin, TX and Schenectady, NY are the nation’s top winners in the 2018 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards, in the large and small city categories respectively. The announcement was made Friday at the Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards luncheon, which was held during the USCM’s 86th Annual Meeting in Boston, MA.
The awards recognize mayors for their energy and climate protection efforts, such as increasing energy efficiency, expanding renewable energy, and reducing carbon emissions. The City of Schenectady was recognized for its sustainability and innovation initiatives, including the Bevis Hill Solar Array, Smart LED lighting on lower Union Street, and the new Erie Boulevard and Nott Street intersection.
“Schenectady has a proud history of innovation and it is more important than ever that we upgrade our technology and infrastructure to tackle climate challenges while improving the efficiency of services and increasing the quality of life for residents,” said Mayor Gary McCarthy. “Emerging technologies have incredible potential to create real value while also making our communities more sustainable.”
“As the nation struggles to find a common vision to the growing challenges of a changing climate, Mayors Adler and McCarthy show how local leadership and action offer a pathway to a broader national consensus and response to our climate challenges,” said Stephen K. Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, SC and President of The U.S. Conference of Mayors. “We know we are the first responders but we can’t be the only responders, with these award-winning city efforts hopefully inspiring others here in the U.S. and throughout the world to act.”
In addition to recently announcing a solar consortium with Schenectady County, the 711 kw/3,029 panel solar array at Bevis Hill has already reduced the city’s energy costs by approximately $80,000 over the last two years, and is estimated to save the city approximately $840,000 over the systems lifetime.
The city replaced 38 HID lighting fixtures with Smart LED lighting technology on lower Union Street, and with an eventual city-wide deployment is expected to reduce the city’s energy costs by approximately $370,000.
Reduced vehicle emissions and fuel consumption through the new 2-lane roundabout at Erie Boulevard and Nott Street is estimated to annually reduce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) by 439 pounds and Nitrogen Oxides by 238 pounds. This project – which was previously awarded the 2017 American Public Works Association (APWA) Project of the Year Award for New York State – was made possible through a combination of local, state, and federal funding, including the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program.
“We are extremely honored to receive national recognition from the U.S. Conference of Mayor and I look forward to furthering the progress we’ve made as a city while improving our climate and strengthening our community,” added McCarthy.