NYSERDA Announces $21 Million in Awards to Nearly 20 Regionally Significant Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development Projects
First Carbon Neutral Maple Syrup Operation and First Certified Passive Warehouse in North America Among Projects That Will Accelerate Decarbonization and Economic Development in Disadvantaged Communities and Downtown Revitalization Districts
December 21, 2021
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced more than $21 million in awards for nearly 20 regionally significant projects across the state under the Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development program. The projects, which include the first electric carbon neutral maple syrup operation and the first certified passive warehouse in North America, will accelerate decarbonization and economic development in disadvantaged communities. The awards, part of Governor Hochul’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative awards announced last week, support the state’s nation-leading goals outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act including an 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Doreen Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “NYSERDA is pleased to support projects that will not only help revitalize their communities, but will be models for energy efficiency, electrification and the incorporation of on-site renewable energy. These projects, several of which are historic structures, are advancing the state’s emissions reduction goals in support of achieving a carbon neutral building stock by mid-century.”
The Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development program is administered by NYSERDA in partnership with Empire State Development and the New York State Department of State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which provides a single-entry point for access to economic development funding with one application for multiple state funding sources. The program provides incentives with focused support for decarbonization projects located in disadvantaged communities or Downtown Revitalization Initiative districts, as well as commercial and mixed-use facilities that are regionally significant.
New York Acting Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “Climate change, economic development and sustainable community revitalization work hand in glove with this remarkable program. With over 40 percent of these awards going to disadvantaged communities, NYS is once again leading the country in our just and equitable transition to a clean energy economy. The Department of State is proud to partner with NYSERDA on this program, which is supporting transformative projects in several Downtown Revitalization Initiative communities and truly making community revitalization a just and green endeavor in NYS.”
Empire State Development President & CEO Hope Knight said, “We are proud to support innovative projects that support New York State’s clean energy goals. These strategic plans and investments are informed by regional stakeholders to revitalize a range of buildings across industries and uses, in ways that will contribute to a greener economy."
Eight of the 19 projects announced today are located in disadvantaged communities and will be receiving $8.4 million of the $21 million. These projects advance the state’s goal of 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of clean energy investments directly benefitting disadvantaged communities.
The 2021 Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development projects include:
Red Barn Hudson Carbon Neutral Project - Located in Hudson's previously awarded Downtown Revitalization Initiative Bridge District, the historic post + beam Red Barn building will be an anchor for waterfront revitalization. The Red Barn project includes work to seal the thermal envelope and install energy-efficient, all-electric systems and equipment for heating, cooling, hot water, and ventilation (including for a commercial catering kitchen) and will use all energy from solar arrays. The project is in a disadvantaged community, and a Downtown Revitalization Initiative award district.
Frederic Church Center - The Frederic Church Center (FCC) is a sustainably designed, carbon neutral visitor center for the Olana State Historic Site. The FCC will be the threshold to an immersive visitor experience of Olana as a unique, world-class carbon neutral tourist destination at the intersection of American art and environmental consciousness.
Catskill Gateway Carbon Neutral Project - Across three buildings on Catskill’s historic Main Street, this revitalization project will renovate the buildings to create a new destination for Catskill and the greater region. Catskill Gateway will use renewable energy to power a 25-room select-service hotel plus spaces for dynamic new businesses. The project, located in a disadvantaged community, includes weatherization upgrades to support net zero energy performance, the installation of solar arrays, and will use all-electric, energy efficient equipment throughout the buildings.
Historic Cohoes City Hall Carbon Neutral Initiative - The City of Cohoes will improve the historic Cohoes City Hall's energy performance through the electrification of the building’s heating ventilation and air conditioning systems and improving the building’s envelope to achieve carbon neutral performance.
185 South Main Street Cold Storage – The Main Street Farms project located in Cortland, New York will add storage capacity as well as allow for all washing and storage of produce to be housed at the same location. The finished carbon neutral project will include coolers, workspace for washing and packing orders, and installation of a solar array.
Solar Home Factory - Solar Village Company, LLC will construct a carbon neutral manufacturing facility in Geneva, New York, called the Solar Home Factory, which will produce modular, net-zero, solar powered multifamily homes. The Solar Home Factory will be a net zero energy performance facility powered by a rooftop solar array. The project is unique in that both the facility operation and the product it produces will be net zero energy and sustainable.
Eco Maple Syrup Production Expansion - Timber Trails Forest Farm in Canandaigua, New York, will expand operations and build New York’s first 100 percent electric, carbon neutral maple syrup operation. The building design utilizes passive house construction, will be well insulated, and is heated with all-electric geothermal radiant heating. The facility will be a leading example for maple syrup production in the agricultural community, lower emissions within the industry, and educate the public through agri-tourism.
The Plant Powerhouse Carbon Neutral Project - The former Glenwood Power Plant will be re-envisioned as a center for leadership, activism, and education on climate change. Redevelopment of The Plant Powerhouse building on the site will include advanced geothermal systems, and other elements designed to make The Powerhouse entirely carbon neutral. The historic preservation of this long-abandoned power plant will also create exhibition space with hotel, restaurants, and cultural programming space and will help educate the public on carbon neutral technology and performance.
Storm King Art Center Capital Project - As a leader in the field of art in nature, Storm King launched Art that Moves You Outside. The capital project is part of a larger master plan and includes two buildings: the Welcome Sequence and the Conservation, Fabrication, and Maintenance Building. These buildings will be built to achieve carbon neutral performance and will have an immediate impact on the visitor experience.
Bethel Town Hall Renovation and Modernization - The Bethel Town Hall, will be renovated and expanded to meet the town's needs, and will pursue Passive House Institute U.S. certification and carbon neutral performance. This will include the addition of renewable energy and battery storage to eliminate the need for a back-up generator and to help reduce peak energy demand. The town has a unique opportunity to create awareness of its carbon neutral town hall among the visitors to the original Woodstock Festival site as a model that can be emulated by other communities.
Highland Passive House - Highland Passive House, located in Ulster County-Hudson Valley, will be the first certified passive warehouse in North America and will achieve carbon neutral and net zero energy status. Easily replicated, the new building will be constructed from prefabricated panels, and will include a public charging location for electric vehicles. The mixed-use building will include warehouse space and flexible office space that will also be used as a tv/film/production space.
New York City
Rubin Hall Passive House Retrofit – New York University will renovate Rubin Hall, a dormitory with almost 700 residents in lower Manhattan to achieve carbon neutral performance. This project seeks to achieve full electrification and LEED retrofit Passive House (EnerPHit) certification. The project is a highly replicable building type (pre-war, multifamily/dormitory) and the knowledge gained will inform the retrofit of billions of square feet of buildings statewide.
Morningside Decarbonization Study - Columbia University will initiate a plan to achieve the strategic electrification of its facilities and meet the university’s sustainability and decarbonization goals. The proposed work will develop a Strategic Electrification Master Plan, a detailed, actionable, and flexible roadmap for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The study will examine 65 buildings on the university's Morningside Campus as well as the central steam and chilled water plants which serve these buildings.
Tower 3 - Tower 3 will be the first of a seven-building planned expansion of the Hutchinson Metro Center campus in the Morris Park section of the Bronx. Tower 3 will be a 14-story, all-electric carbon neutral high-rise building consisting of rentable office space and a garage, that will implement construction and operation strategies to reduce energy use and carbon emissions.
Spring Creek Landing - The first phase of Spring Creek Landing will be comprised of two buildings located in Brooklyn, New York. The first building includes affordable and supportive housing units (pursuing Passive House certification), a healthcare facility, and neighborhood serving retail. The second building includes affordable housing units (pursuing Passive House certification). This phase will set the precedent for the community development and sustainability goals for all the phases of the project to follow.
Andel Greenhouse - The Delaware County IDA is expanding its Andes-based food hub to include a carbon neutral greenhouse, which will utilize 10 percent of the land and energy normally needed to grow the same amount of crop. The Delaware County IDA will construct the Andel Greenhouse: a 3,000 square foot greenhouse which will be operate 12 months of the year to supplement local and regional producers' growing seasons and abilities, growing fresh food that local farmers are unable to grow using geothermal and solar energy.
DutchView Farm – This dairy farm located in Franklin, New York will be designed using the market learnings from a 2018 Net Zero Energy for Economic Development program awardee, WoodBAyr Farm, to be carbon neutral and eliminate fossil fuel use on-site. The project includes a solar array, ground source heat pump, and robotic milking, cleaning, and feeding systems. The barn is a Brightspan Barn with energy efficient properties and utilizes a composting bedding pack system to reduce the carbon footprint of the operation.
211 Main Street, North Tonawanda - This Enterprise Lumber & Silo Redevelopment Project will restore and repurpose a vacant masonry and heavy timber-framed building in the City of North Tonawanda, New York to achieve carbon neutral performance. The building will serve as an incubator for entrepreneurial architecture, landscape architecture, and engineering firms. When completed, the new building and the site will serve as a catalyst for further redevelopment of the downtown, and as a model for carbon neutral construction methods.
Sustainability Workforce Training Center - PUSH Buffalo will build the Sustainability Workforce Training Center (SWTC) on Buffalo’s west side, creating a new green economy workforce to support the transition to carbon neutrality by mid-century. The SWTC will be a net-zero facility with classrooms, offices, and meeting space that demonstrate sustainable technologies and construction methods, catalyzing PUSH Buffalo’s established workforce development program in the rapidly growing clean energy and green construction trades. This will be the region’s first green jobs training facility with flexibility to expand as the field develops.
A total of 40 projects have been awarded to date through the Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development program, with over $44 million in incentives since it was launched in 2018. Nine of the 19 projects awarded in 2021, and 19 of the total 40 projects receiving funding from all three rounds, are examples of adaptive reuse of an existing building to carbon neutral performance. These projects maintain the heritage and local character of New York communities, demonstrate the feasibility of applying clean energy technologies to existing buildings and have lower embodied carbon than new construction. They often serve as the anchor project for surrounding neighborhood redevelopment. For more information or to apply for this program please visit https://regionalcouncils.ny.gov/.
Buildings account for more than a third of greenhouse gas emissions 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 was part of the State’s Consolidated Funding Application that opened in May 2021 and included more than $750 million in state economic development resources, enabling businesses, municipalities, not-for-profits and the public to apply for assistance from dozens of state programs for job-creation and community development projects.
New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Act
New York State'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 achieve 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 investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $33 billion in 102 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, 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 are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.
NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.
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.
About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of the State's approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, 10 Regional Councils were established to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom-up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. Learn more here.