Challenge to Reduce Statewide Emissions, Combat Climate Change, Drive Economic Growth

May 13, 2022

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today launched the fourth round of the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Carbon Challenge, making $15 million available as part of Round XII of Governor Kathy Hochul’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative announced Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. on May 2. The C&I Carbon Challenge will help to reduce carbon emissions at commercial and industrial businesses and institutions, combat climate change, and drive economic growth across the state. Today’s announcement supports New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050.

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “The launch of this round of the C&I Carbon Challenge demonstrates the state’s commitment to investing in private-public partnerships that advance cleaner and more efficient building facilities and functions for New York’s largest energy users. This funding will allow more energy intensive business owners across the state to take action to implement clean energy measures that will help them to realize cost-savings while reducing harmful emissions from their operations, in support of the state’s nation-leading climate and clean energy goals.”

The C&I Carbon Challenge is a competitive program that provides funding to large energy users to implement various cost-effective clean energy projects that reduce carbon emissions. The fourth round of funding is being made available to eligible businesses and institutions including but not limited to manufacturers, colleges, universities, health care facilities, and office building owners in New York State. Project proposals may employ a combination of energy or manufacturing process efficiency strategies, carbon capture technology, renewable generation or energy storage.

MACNY President & CEO Randy Wolken said, “It is critical that we help the New York State manufacturing community source and use energy in a responsible way. NYSERDA’s Carbon Challenge continues to provide the means and guidance that larger consumers will need to drive carbon reduction, maintaining the leadership position that New York is known for.”

A variety of projects that reduce emissions are eligible, with increased funding available for projects that electrify buildings or manufacturing equipment, reduce industrial thermal process emissions, and/or make operational and technical changes that reduce industrial process emissions.

Funding is being provided under two categories:

  • Category A: $10 million for proposals that incorporate key solutions such as beneficial electrification and reduced emissions related to manufacturing processes, to lower the applicant’s carbon footprint. 
  • Category B: $5 million for proposals that employ energy efficiency, on-site clean energy generation, or any other greenhouse gas reducing solution not identified in Category A.

The Challenge will provide awards ranging from $500,000 to $5 million to partially offset clean energy project costs for the largest energy users in the state, with an aggregate 12-month average demand of 3-megawatts or greater. The deadline to apply through the State's Consolidated Funding Application Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. is July 29, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. The 2022 Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Guidebook and a list of additional resources available to REDC Members are accessible here Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

Competition winners are selected based on their plans for project implementation, institutional commitment to sustainability, overall level of greenhouse gas emissions reduced, and their potential to beneficially impact disadvantaged communities. NYSERDA’s scoring criteria for this solicitation provides points for greenhouse gas emission reductions that occur in designated disadvantaged communities and deliver benefits in such communities.  In addition, each application is reviewed and scored by members of each applicant’s respective REDC as part of the Consolidated Funding Application process.

The REDC process continues to support and empower regional stakeholders in developing strategic plans and funding priorities that meet local economic needs. To date, through the REDC Initiative, more than $7.5 billion has been awarded to more than 9,200 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plan.  To date, the C&I Carbon Challenge has made 15 awards Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. to companies and higher education institutions that will cumulatively reduce 2.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, removing 580,00 cars from the road for one year. NYSERDA expects to announce the fourth-round awards in late 2022.

Commercial and industrial buildings account for 30 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. Furthermore, this program is well aligned with the recommendations produced by the Energy Intensive and Trade Exposed Industries (EITE) Advisory Panel and submitted to the Climate Action Council, a proactive step to support early action to decarbonize by large energy users.

Funding 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.


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 or follow us on Twitter Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., Facebook Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., YouTube Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., or Instagram Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

About the Consolidated Funding Application

As part of the State’s efforts to improve its 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 Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.