Ithaca, N.Y., is turning to the private sector to fund the upfront outlays of its building decarbonization effort
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Co-Founder & Founding Investor @ Platform Venture Studio
nice! GRESB esg standard for buildings has a lot of momentum
Founder and CEO @ Infiniblaze
Ithaca will be a great experiment. It's a wealthy town of 30,000 people (not counting Cornell) with most commercial buildings built prior to the 1940's. If the buildings haven't already been upgraded, then they are due for some deep retrofits -- which is the point of the Ithaca program and managed by friends of mine as GC's which will ultimately parse out the work to 4 other groups and deliver services over the next 10 years. I have been part of 2 other "massive" experiments -- municipalizing Boulder to create its own local renewable utility and Austin's Mueller Redevelopment / Pecan Street initiative to build the deepest analytical and renewable microgrid community. Both of those efforts took more than 10 years and each failed over time. In Boulder's case, the community lost interest as many new folks moved into town and didn't think the fight with the existing utility was worth the effort. In Austin, they never built a real microgrid, never got to 100% renewables, and left gas in the mix. I am cheering for my friends who are working on this, but low cost loans will not be the factor that helps this community through to success -- it will be sustained political leadership and commitment in the community. With role models of success, political leadership and commitment, technical tools (think replicable design platform), workforce, and low cost loans, other communities might be successful followers of this model.
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