Seven Winners Commit to Reducing Emissions Through High-Impact Actions

December 29, 2022

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced the awardees in the fourth round of the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Carbon Challenge, with seven projects sharing more than $14 million through Round XII of the State’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Initiative. The seven winning companies have committed to high-impact actions that will shrink their carbon footprints and result in a reduction of over 800,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of taking approximately 174,000 cars off the road, per year. Today’s announcement advances a just transition for difficult-to-decarbonize and energy-intensive economic sectors and supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050. The awards also advance the Climate Act goal to deliver at least 35% with a goal of 40% of clean energy investments to Disadvantaged Communities.

Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado said, “I commend the companies and higher education institutions awarded funding through this initiative for their leadership in greening their buildings and operations. As we fight climate change and seek to reduce our impact on the environment from all sectors, projects like this are identifying solutions to reduce their carbon footprint and provide health benefits to the communities in which they are located.”

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “These Commercial and Industrial Carbon Challenge awardees are demonstrating a commitment to reduce their emissions and move toward carbon neutrality. Their projects will serve as models for other energy intensive business owners across the state who can similarly take action to implement clean energy measures that increase costs savings, environmental benefits and build local and regional sustainability.”

The C&I Carbon Challenge is a competitive program that provides funding to large energy users such as manufacturers, colleges, universities, health care facilities, and office building owners in New York State to implement clean energy projects that reduce carbon emissions. Projects may utilize a combination of energy or manufacturing process efficiency strategies, carbon capture technology, renewable generation or energy storage.

The winning proposals, submitted through the State’s annual Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process, demonstrate high potential for implementing carbon-reducing clean energy actions. Projects that benefit Disadvantaged Communities received extra points in the scoring criteria when determining awards, resulting in more than half of the awarded funding in this fourth round going to projects in these designated areas. Importantly, six of the awardees move beyond efficiency and will be reducing emissions by using under-utilized and novel technical solutions, such as the electrification of heating and cooling and direct reduction of industrial greenhouse gases, that will be critical for these sectors to fully decarbonize in alignment with the Climate Act.

The awarded projects include:

Central New York
Anheuser-Busch - Anheuser-Busch will install a carbon capture and re-use system to capture 75% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from their brewery in Baldwinsville, New York. The captured CO2 will be recycled into the brewing process, eliminating a large portion of the CO2 the company would otherwise purchase from suppliers. This is a major opportunity for Anheuser Busch to achieve resilient CO2 supply and advance their goal of Carbon Neutral Brewing.

Syracuse University - Syracuse University will modernize critical energy equipment, including the installation of highly efficient electrified chillers. This modernization effort will enable the University to achieve the targets of its Climate Action Plan, chiefly the goal of carbon neutrality by 2040.

Finger Lakes
REDRochester - REDRochester will pursue two projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Eastman Business Park: the installation of an ultra-efficient electric chiller to offset existing steam-driven chillers and the deployment of waste steam recovery technology to power a new air compressor. These projects will reduce industrial thermal loads through electrification and then capture waste heat to subsequently decrease process electric loads, resulting in substantial reduction of fossil fuel consumption.

University of Rochester - The University of Rochester is pursuing a comprehensive plan to upgrade Central Utility Plant (CUP) chillers from river water to a cooling tower and convert the chillers from steam-driven to electric-driven. The initial phase of this project will upgrade electrical systems to enable the installation of the new cooling towers and chillers. These projects will work to enable complete electrification of the chilled water system and reduce the university’s reliance on fossil fuels.

GlobalFoundries - GlobalFoundries will pursue three projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at their semiconductor manufacturing site in East Fishkill including a transition to process refrigerants with significantly lower Global Warming Potential (GWP). Finding and transitioning to refrigerants with lower GWP will be critical to decarbonizing New York’s Industrial sector and meeting the goals of the Climate Act.

New York City
Vornado - Vornado will pursue multiple efficiency and electrification projects in their building at One Park Avenue including replacing two No. 2 fuel oil boilers with air to water heat pumps on the roof, installing hot water fan powered boxes, upgrading the building envelope with additional wall insulation, and adding window inserts to the building’s exterior to reduce the infiltration, heating, and cooling loads on the building. Through increased efficiency of both the heating and cooling systems, a reduction of building load and removal of fossil fuels from the system, One Park Avenue will be able to drastically reduce its carbon emissions.

Southern Tier
Cornell University - Cornell University’s project will capture and re-use heat that would otherwise be wasted and upgrade existing pneumatic building control systems with digital automated logic controls in existing buildings on the university’s campus. Both initiatives will help increase energy efficiency and reduce the university’s greenhouse gas footprint.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "The winning projects that have risen to NYSERDA's C&I Carbon Challenge are demonstrating that clean energy is good business in New York. Through our REDC Initiative, we’re able to support economic development that not only fuels growth, but also works to meet New York State’s ambitious Climate Act goals."

MACNY President and CEO Randy Wolken said, “NYSERDA’s Carbon Challenge is designed to support large energy consumers by providing them with the flexibility for strategic decarbonization projects that could help lower energy costs and create clean energy jobs. This program also has the potential to expand inclusive workforce development opportunities. New York State is ready and willing to help companies thrive through initiatives like this.”

Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) Senior Vice President of Policy Zachary Steinberg said, “As efforts to address climate change become increasingly vital, REBNY members are continuing to lead with proactive and innovative strategies that advance our shared goal of decarbonizing the built environment. We applaud NYSERDA for its ongoing commitment to this issue and for administering another successful Carbon Challenge, which helps building owners to finance several critical emissions-reduction projects. REBNY is pleased to continue working closely with the public sector and other stakeholders to build a more sustainable future for New York."

The C&I Carbon Challenge has made 23 awards totaling more than $45 million to companies and higher education institutions that will cumulatively reduce 3.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, removing 754,000 cars from the road for one year.

Commercial and industrial buildings account for 30% 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 Plan

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% 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 $35 billion in 120 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 more than 165,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2021, a 2,100% 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% from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35% with a goal of 40% 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 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

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..

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 at Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..