NYSERDA Makes $15 Million Available for Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development Program
Funding will Accelerate the Design, Planning and Construction of Regionally Significant Community-Scale Carbon Neutral Buildings with Prioritization of Investment in Disadvantaged Communities
May 19, 2021
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced $15 million is available for the Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development program (CNCED) as part of Round XI of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative announced last week. The funding will accelerate the design, planning, and construction of regionally significant, community-scale carbon neutral economic development projects for buildings, campuses and communities, and large portfolio owners. The program supports Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading climate and clean energy agenda including an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Doreen Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA said , “This program will accelerate carbon emissions reductions in larger building types while catalyzing economic development for disadvantaged communities as we work toward achieving a carbon neutral building stock by mid-century. The buildings of the future need to be cleaner and more energy efficient in order to be more resilient in the face of climate change and healthier for the people who inhabit and work in them.”
The program, formerly called Net Zero Energy for Economic Development, is administered by NYSERDA in partnership with Empire State Development and the New York State Department of State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, and provides incentives with focused support for low- to moderate- income communities and mixed-use facilities that are regionally significant. In addition, the program supports the transition to a clean energy economy by prioritizing investments in decarbonization projects in Disadvantaged Communities which result in jobs that provide family-sustaining wages and benefits.
New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “By integrating jobs, climate change and equity, this innovative program creates yet another national model for our transition from fossil fuel-based development to a fair and equitable carbon-neutral economy. I commend NYSERDA for prioritizing funding for the redevelopment of projects located in Downtown Revitalization Initiative communities that will reduce automobile use and carbon emissions. The program’s emphasis on equity underscores Governor Cuomo’s commitment to disadvantaged communities, and brings us a step closer to realizing the vision of climate justice embodied in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.”
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "New York is actively investing in new technologies, innovations and businesses that will help to reduce carbon emissions, including through building design and construction. NYSERDA’s $15 million Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development program will help make buildings on campuses and in communities throughout the state safer for New Yorkers and support a cleaner, greener future."
The third round of the Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development program includes two categories in which funding is available:
- Facility-level carbon neutral building performance, which includes commercial, light-industrial, mixed use and municipal buildings, new construction, gut rehab and change-of-use projects (no size limit) with up to $2 million available for each awarded project. Eligible costs include: design, energy modeling, energy efficiency, controls, renewables, heat pumps, electric vehicle charging, storage, and commissioning.
- Campus, community and large portfolio owner projects, which includes the planning, technical analysis, and design of carbon neutral performance for the community. Projects must be at least 1 million square feet or cost at least $50 million to implement. Projects in this category could include colleges and universities, downtown revitalization initiatives, neighborhoods, and office parks with up to $5 million available for each awarded project.
Funding awards will be prioritized for projects that are easily replicable and located in disadvantaged communities. A total of 21 projects have been awarded over $23 million in incentives since the Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development program was launched in 2018. For more information or to apply for this program please visit https://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/.
Buildings account for 45 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from fuel combustion and electric generation in New York State, and most of the State’s current building stock was constructed before energy codes were passed and was, therefore, not constructed to be energy efficient. Decarbonized buildings and communities will help improve building resiliency, occupant health and productivity.
The 2021 funding round for the Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development program is part of the State Consolidated Funding Application that opened on May 10 and includes more than $750 million in state economic development resources, enabling businesses, municipalities, not-for-profits and the public to begin applying for assistance from dozens of state programs for job-creation and community development projects. The deadline to apply for the third round through the State's Consolidated Funding Application is 4:00 p.m. ET on July 30, 2021. More information about this funding is available on NYSERDA's website.
New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
Governor Cuomo's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including over $4 billion invested in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2019, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities and advancing progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.
About the Consolidated Funding Application
As part of Governor Cuomo's efforts to improve the State's economic development model, the Consolidated Funding Application was created to streamline and expedite the grant application process. The CFA process marks a fundamental shift in the way state resources are allocated, ensuring less bureaucracy and greater efficiency to fulfill local economic development needs. The CFA serves as the single-entry point for access to economic development funding, ensuring applicants no longer have to slowly navigate multiple agencies and sources without any mechanism for coordination. Now, economic development projects use the CFA as a support mechanism to access multiple state funding sources through one application, making the process quicker, easier, and more productive. Learn more about the CFA here.
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