By Eric Malanoski (Townsquare Media News)

Solar panel installation
Credit: Elena Elisseeva, Thinkstock

New York State is making $16 million in grants available to help communities reduce energy consumption and drive clean energy use.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of Clean Energy Communities on Wednesday.  It's part of his Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to supply 50 percent of the state's electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030.

The program lists 10 high-impact clean energy actions determined by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.  Communities that complete at least four will be eligible for grants of up to $250,000 to support additional clean energy projects.  Actions include energy efficiency upgrades of municipal buildings, replacing street lights with LED lighting, and streamlining approval processes for solar projects.