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SUNY Cortland was the lone Central New York public college or university to receive first round funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) State Energy Program in October.

The College received an $80,000 grant and will supply an additional $20,000 from its own funds to replace the lighting in Lusk Field House. The move will save SUNY Cortland an estimated $21,700 annually through reduced electricity costs, explained Jeff Lallas, the College’s director of facilities planning, design and construction.

“We will be replacing 200 metal halide lights with 150 high-efficiency T-5 florescent fixtures,” he said.

The new lights are part of a major rehabilitation of Lusk Field House set to start in Spring 2010 and be completed by the beginning of the Fall 2010 semester in late August.

The College will replace the field house floor, install a new vestibule and upgrade the heating and the locker rooms.

Lusk Field House is one of 87 energy conservation projects across New York receiving a combined $24 million in ARRA funding to implement energy efficient, renewable energy and clean-fleet projects, Gov. David Paterson announced on Nov. 2.

These projects will reduce energy and operating costs by more than $6.5 million annually and fully return the initial investment in just over five years, added the governor.

According to a release from the Governor’s Office, the projects, which were competitively selected under the State Energy Program, represent the first step of funding from a program that will total $74 million. Additional awards are expected before the end of the year. Measures funded include installation of lighting and lighting controls, solar photovoltaic systems, high efficiency biomass boilers, solar thermal and small wind generators and alternative-fuel refueling stations and vehicles. Award recipients include municipalities, public schools, universities and colleges, hospitals and not-for-profit agencies.

More than 427 proposals were received by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and evaluated on a competitive basis. Primary selection criteria included technical viability, cost-effectiveness, demonstration of compliance with program requirements and cost sharing. Each awardee must still successfully enter into contract and meet all ARRA requirements prior to funding being released.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is an economic stimulus package enacted by Congress in February 2009.