The University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology and Suffolk County Community College have won $1 million (£0.77m) each following a competition, which required applicants to submit projects that demonstrated innovation.
They were also required to set out each project’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions, how they would measure success and how they would use the funding.
The winning projects include the installation of a solar and energy storage system, a platform that enables the existing building automation system to manage operation schedules and adjust ventilation rates in classrooms as well as the implementation of net-zero energy components during the construction of a new facility, including solar and ground source heat pumps.
They are expected to be completed in 2020 and reduce emissions by more than 2,000 metric tons over the next five years.
Richard Kauffman, Chair of Energy and Finance for New York State said: “I’m thrilled to see the next generation of clean energy leaders at our state colleges and universities demonstrating a real commitment to finding solutions to our energy challenges.”