State and private universities in New York State banded together to form a renewable energy purchasing coalition. Called New York Campuses’ Aggregate Renewable Energy Solutions (NYCARES), the consortium includes 21 higher education institutions.

The consortium of universities came together in late 2018 and plans to consider large-scale solar photovoltaic, wind, hydroelectric, and energy storage projects for development in New York State, according to the Cornell Campus Sustainability Office. All 16 campuses in the SUNY system as well as the Cornell University Ithaca campus are participating.

NYCARES’ stated vision is to “create positive change in our regional renewable energy market, advance partnerships between New York State higher education campuses, and help us advance our academic missions by powering our campuses in a manner that is financially viable, environmentally conscious, and socially just.”

SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson indicated that the new consortium supports the energy goals outlined by SUNY and those set by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, Politico reported. “Johnson said she wants the SUNY campuses to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2020, although she has not mandated that goal because it may take longer to complete the process,” Marie J. French and Danielle Muoio wrote.

Julian Dautremont-Smith, director of programs for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, told Politico last fall that the coalition is unique due to its size. “Twenty-one institutions is more than any of the other aggregations I’m aware of,” he said. “And the other thing is the blending of public and private institutions.”

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