It is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s NY Prize Community Microgrid competition, with each winner receiving $1 million (£0.8m).
They will conduct detailed engineering designs and business plans for a microgrid to bring local clean energy and backup power to communities.
Governor Cuomo said: “It’s critical that communities across New York have reliable power to provide vital services when they are needed the most.
“These awards will help local government modernise and harden their power infrastructure as well as join this administration’s fight against climate change and create a cleaner, greener, Empire State for all.”
New York State aims to generate 50% of electricity from renewable sources and cut 40% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.