Nearly $14.5 Million Awarded in Third Round of Commercial and Industrial Carbon Challenge

December 21, 2021

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced nearly $14.5 million in awards to the third-round winners of the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Carbon Challenge as part of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) Round XI awards announced by Governor Kathy Hochul last week. The seven winning companies have committed to high-impact actions that will shrink their carbon footprints and result in a reduction of over 1.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of taking approximately 260,000 cars off the road per year. Today’s announcement supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050 and advance a just transition for difficult-to-decarbonize and energy-intensive economic sectors.

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “With each round of C&I Carbon Challenge awards, the State is supporting high impact clean energy projects that help some of the largest energy users reduce their carbon footprint. These commercial and industrial businesses are making commitments to energy efficiency and reducing on-site emissions from their operations that will improve their communities while serving as an example of climate action for other large energy users.”

Launched in May 2018 and administered by NYSERDA, the C&I Carbon Challenge is a competitive program that provides funding to large commercial and industrial energy users such as manufacturers, colleges, health care facilities and office building owners in New York State to develop various cost-effective clean energy projects that reduce carbon emissions. With many large energy users located in disadvantaged communities, projects that help these companies reduce emissions help improve local air quality and provide local environmental benefits for these communities.

The winning proposals, submitted through the State’s annual CFA process, demonstrate the highest potential for cost-effectively implementing carbon-reducing clean energy actions. Projects that benefit disadvantaged communities received extra points in the scoring criteria when determining awards.

The awarded projects include:

New York City:

1411 Broadway, New York City working with SOCOTEC consultants, will pursue a portfolio of projects with a strategy to reduce heating and cooling loads, recover and reuse waste heat from exhaust air as much as possible, and supplement heating and cooling with more efficient heating ventilation and cooling technologies.

Columbia University Irving Medical Center will undertake a number of energy efficiency measures, including steam-to-hot water conversion in two buildings and installation of a heat recovery heat pump that will be leveraged to balance heating and cooling loads. This project is located in a disadvantaged community.

St. John’s University will implement several energy efficient projects over the next three years to reduce energy use and carbon emissions at their Queens, New York campus including converting existing steam-fired domestic hot water (DHW) generators to electric heat pump-based DHW generators in multiple campus buildings.

Western New York:

Cascades Containerboard Packaging Niagara Falls will install upgrades to an existing biodigester system to optimize purification, resulting in reduced fossil fuel emissions. This project is located in a disadvantaged community.

Capital Region:

Essity Hygiene will be working with Ecosave, an energy services provider, across two facilities: a paper mill located in South Glen Falls and a packaging and finishing facility located in Greenwich, to install a suite of energy saving measures as part of the first phase of a comprehensive energy efficiency portfolio plan. 

Holcim (US) Inc. will undertake a plant retrofit that will allow the facility to shift to production of cement with lower carbon emissions. In order to facilitate the formula change to lower emissions, they will implement a series of capital projects at their plant in Ravena, New York.

Mid-Hudson:

IBM Corporation will pursue a portfolio of 16 energy efficiency measures at three locations in Armonk, Poughkeepsie, and Yorktown Heights, including heating ventilation and cooling (HVAC) upgrades, the installation of a geothermal heating system, and datacenter cooling upgrades.

MACNY President & CEO Randy Wolken said, “Congratulations to all of the winners of the C&I Carbon Challenge.  With these project awards, New York is assisting companies to grow in a post-covid world. NYSERDA’s Carbon Challenge continues to provide critical support to companies to continue New York’s tradition of excellence in manufacturing while maintaining environmentally sustainable operations.”

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."

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “I applaud Governor Hochul and NYSERDA for these innovative incentives which are helping to reduce our State’s carbon footprint and build a cleaner New York. We need to engage as many partners as possible in this effort, and the C&I Carbon Challenge assists businesses in making real changes that will have a meaningful impact on our environment for decades to come.”

With today’s announcement, more than $31 million has been awarded through the C&I Carbon Challenge for projects that are reducing carbon emissions to improve statewide sustainability and combat climate change. Past awardees, including third round winners, have consisted of colleges and universities, office buildings and businesses in a variety of manufacturing sectors. Collectively, they have committed to reducing over 2.7 million metric tons of carbon emissions, the equivalent of taking approximately 585,000 cars off the road.

Commercial and industrial buildings account for 33 percent of the energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in New York State. NYSERDA's initiatives and programs can benefit most businesses and organizations across the State, but large energy consumers have unique needs, and solutions, when it comes to increasing efficiency and lowering emissions. Building on New York State's support for private sector solutions to lower the cost of clean energy, the C&I Carbon Challenge gives large energy consumers the flexibility to tap into their in-house expertise to reduce their carbon footprint and control their energy costs.

Funding for this program is available through the State's 10-year, $6 billion Clean Energy Fund.

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.

About NYSERDA

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 TwitterLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., FacebookLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., YouTubeLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., or InstagramLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

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 hereLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

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 hereLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..