Cahill Announces State Support for Solar Energy Consortium

Calls solar project top priority for economic development in Ulster County
September 18, 2007

Assemblymember Kevin Cahill (D – Ulster, Dutchess) announced a major step forward for The Solar Energy Consortium today. The Empire State Development Corporation has committed $1.5 million that the Consortium will use to attract solar companies to the region.

“I have been working diligently to gain state backing for this project because I am confident it will play a key role in addressing our energy and global climate change challenges while planting the seeds for a new green economy right here in Ulster County,” said Assemblymember Cahill. “The support of the Empire State Development Corporation is a tremendous boost to our goal of making the Upper Hudson Valley a global leader in the research and development of renewable energy.”

The sole purpose of the not-for-profit Solar Energy Consortium is to integrate and harness the state’s vast financial, technical, scientific, academic and manufacturing capabilities to double the efficiency of solar technology, dramatically reduce the costs and thrust solar into an atmosphere where it can compete and succeed in the traditional market as a clean, renewable, efficient and cheap source of power. The grant announced today will allow the leaders of the project to offer incentives to solar companies if they pledge to relocate to the Hudson Valley and join the Consortium.

“Investment in clean, renewable energy systems will help lessen our collective carbon footprint, improve public health and enhance air quality while diversifying our energy portfolio and creating well-paying jobs in our region and throughout the state,” said Mr. Cahill. “The Hudson Valley is poised to become a global hub for solar innovation and development and given the impressive track record of the team of individuals behind the Solar Energy Consortium I am confident they can make that dream a reality.”

Assemblymember Cahill has been working closely with the founders of the Consortium to gain the support of the Legislature and the Governor for funding to be allocated in the state budget. Mr. Cahill has also facilitated meetings between the group and the President of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Chair of the Empire State Development Corporation. “This project is exactly the type of innovative economic development Ulster County needs and ensuring its success has been one of my top priorities,” Mr. Cahill remarked.

"The Solar Energy Consortium continues to gain momentum. This project is unique in it's collaboration between academic researchers, industry, and the public sector. Assemblyman Cahill's continued leadership in forming our coalition of state policy makers and local business leaders is one of the reasons we have achieved this significant milestone of Empire State Development support," said Vincent Cozzolino, President of The Solar Energy Consortium.