The University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology have each won $1 million as part of the state’s Energy to Lead Competition.

The competition challenges New York colleges and universities across the state to develop plans for local clean energy projects on campus and in their communities as New York seeks innovative solutions to combat climate change. Suffolk County Community College also won $1 million in this year’s competition.

Applicants were required to submit projects which demonstrate innovation in one or more of the following areas: project design, business model, partnerships, and curriculum integration. Schools and universities were also required to describe the project’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions, how they would measure success and how they would use the funding to advance the project. These projects are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,125 metric tons over the next five years.

“The Energy to Lead Competition provides colleges and universities with the funding needed to develop innovative clean energy projects in their communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “We’re incentivizing clean energy innovation to create more jobs and opportunities throughout the state to ensure a cleaner environment and stronger economy for future generations.”

The Energy to Lead Competition, announced by Governor Cuomo in 2015, is part of the REV Campus Challenge which recognizes and supports colleges and universities in New York State that strive to meet their financial, environmental, academic and community goals through clean energy solutions. The competition is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and open to two- or four-year public or private colleges or universities.

In May 2016, Bard College, SUNY University at Buffalo, and SUNY Broome Community College were each awarded $1 million through the competition.