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Cuomo announces plan to make NYS fair energy self-sufficient by 2023

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
Gov. Andrew Cuomo arrives by train to the New York State Fair.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo took an Amtrak train from Albany to the New York State Fair for its opening day on Wednesday. Some of the highlights of Cuomo’s trip includes a new plan to make the fairgrounds energy self-sufficient by 2023. 

Cuomo and cabinet officials arrived via train to highlight what Cuomo calls an affordable and environmentally-friendly alternative to get to the fair from Buffalo or Albany.

“It’s a greener way of doing it and there’s also a financial incentive, because if you take the Amtrak train you’ll have free admission,” Cuomo said.

Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball announced the GreenFair project to eliminate the use of energy from fossil fuels at the fair, by installing solar panels and constructing wind turbines. He called it an aggressive plan to become the greenest fair in the country.

“By 2023, the fair will be off the grid and be powered solely by renewable energy resources," Ball said. "That will be a great accomplishment.”

The project also involves a food waste recycling program. A new environmental stewardship pavilion is going to be built to educate fairgoers on ways to reduce their energy footprint.

At this year's fair, four new electric vehicle models are on display. Venders have been asked to voluntarily get rid of single-use plastic bags and straws. Next year, they will be banned. The fair and other state agencies have switched to giving away reusable bags. The fair runs from now until Labor Day. 

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.