Immediate Release

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 

For Information Contact

798-5800

Picente: Oneida County Takes Important Step
in Developing Its Renewable Energy Strategy

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr., today announced that Oneida County has taken an important step toward the development of a Renewable Energy Strategy.

Picente said stakeholders in the renewable energy sector and supporters from across New York State shared ideas during a Renewable Energy Forum held Sept. 13th at Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Oneida County as a first step to implement the decision he made in partnership with the Oneida County Board of Legislators and its Energy Committee to charge CCE with developing renewable and alternative energy education strategies for Oneida County.

“We need to strategically plan for change, understanding that there are inherent uncertainties with technology and innovation,” Picente said. “It just makes sense to provide the comprehensive infrastructure to support our energy future.”

Industry and state leaders from Cornell University, Northeast Sun Grant Institute, NYS Agriculture and Markets, NYS Energy Research and Development Authority, National Grid, Syracuse University Environmental Science and Forestry, New York Farm Viability Institute, New York Ag Development Corporation, Northeast Agricultural Tech Corp, SUNY Morrisville, and Oneida County Planning Department participated in the advisory meeting. It was determined that as energy production, consumption and conservation continue to lead areas of debate among farmers, policy makers, educators and industry leaders, it would be most effective for strategy to first focus on these areas.

“We can all be proud of the leadership we are taking to support these county and regional efforts of education, as well as developing long-term, economically viable energy policy in the county,” said Ken Brewer (R-12), legislative chair of the Renewable Energy Committee and president of CCE’s board of directors.

Mary Wrege was recently hired as a Renewable Energy Educator at CCE, and will assist in developing and implementing the county’s renewable energy strategy. She was pleased with the diverse group of agencies that participated in the meeting, and is excited by their commitment to renewable energy technologies locally and beyond.

“It is an exciting time to represent a multidisciplinary approach in addressing our farmer, grower, youth and general community information needs,” Wrege said.

Larry Walker, Professor of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University and the Director of the Northeast Sun Grant Institute, and National Grid representative, Jim Stapleton, offered funding dedicated for the energy education efforts of CCE.

Additional agencies committed to this initiative are Oneida County Farm Bureau, US Department of Agriculture Rural Development and Mohawk Valley EDGE.

For more information on the county’s Renewable Energy Strategy, contact Mary Wrege at (315) 736-3394 x 131.