New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the 76West Clean Energy Competition is now accepting applications from emerging clean-energy companies for its third round. 76West is one of the largest competitions in the country that focuses on supporting and growing clean-energy businesses and economic development.
Last year’s winners include battery storage and solar financing competitors. It complements “Southern Tier Soaring,” the region’s comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development.
76West supports Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers through economic development and expanding innovative entrepreneurship in the Southern Tier. The Southern Tier is already home to nation-leading companies and universities which are spurring innovation and leading global research.
“Incentivizing clean energy innovation in the Southern Tier through the 76 West competition is further evidence of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to creating even more jobs and opportunities in this region of the State,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “Investing in renewable energy and other clean energy solutions also ensures a cleaner environment and stronger economy for future generations of New Yorkers.”
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority administers the 76West Competition, which will accept applications through April 16, 2018. A group of up to 20 finalists will be selected and brought to the Southern Tier next spring to meet with mentors, who will connect them with prospective local partners, industry leaders, potential sources of funding, and other resources within the region.
The finalists will then pitch their companies to a group of judges who will recommend the six winners to receive a total of $2.5 million in prizes ($1 million grand prize, one $500,000 prize and four $250,000 awards). Winners will be announced later next year.
“76West attracts innovative companies and jobs to the Southern Tier and supports our efforts to build a strong clean energy economy across New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “The third round of the competition will encourage even more emerging clean energy companies to grow their businesses in the Southern Tier and join us in our support of clean energy technologies to fight climate change.”
As a condition of the award, companies must either move to the Southern Tier or establish a direct connection with the Southern Tier, such as a supply chain relationship or other strategic relationships with Southern Tier entities that create jobs. If the companies are already in the Southern Tier, they must commit to substantially growing their business and employment in the region.
Previous 76West Competition winners are already contributing to the region’s successful cleantech ecosystem, having already raised $20 million in private capital for future growth and created new jobs. Two recent accomplishments of past 76West Competition winners include:
- C4V: $500,000 award winner (2016). C4V produces batteries that can be used for telecommunications systems and other industries that need energy storage with longer lifetimes so they reduce overall cost. In October, Governor Cuomo announced C4V was one of three companies that will spearhead Imperium3 New York, a consortium of energy storage businesses that will establish research and development and production operations at the Huron Campus in Endicott (Broome County). The consortium will invest more than $130 million and create at least 230 new jobs over the next five years, building on the state’s new law to develop an energy storage deployment goal and policy that will pave the way for additional energy storage projects that can deliver benefits to all New Yorkers.
- SolarKal: $250,000 award winner (2017). SolarKal provides a brokerage service to help businesses simplify the solar purchasing process. The company has hired a professional broker in the Southern Tier and was selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative’s Solar in Your Community Challenge, a $5 million initiative to expand solar access across the United States. Over the next 18 months, SolarKal will focus on enhancing solar services to non-profits and community centers.
This is the third year of 76West, a $20 million competition and support program administered by NYSERDA that started in 2016 and will run through 2019. Each year applicants compete for a $1 million grand prize, a $500,000 award and four $250,000 awards. In total, 76West will provide $10 million in awards and $10 million for business support, marketing and administration through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Clean Energy Fund.
“Under Cuomo, 76West Competition is supporting successful clean energy entrepreneurs and start-up companies interested in joining the robust community of the Southern Tier,” said Richard Kaufman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York State. “Not only are these companies developing clean technologies, they are bringing new economic vitality to a region that is directly helping New York build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system to combat climate change for all New Yorkers.”