Selected Projects Will Advance Community and Economic Development Across New York State, Including in Disadvantaged Communities

November 14, 2023

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced more than $29 million has been awarded through Round XIII of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Initiative to 15 innovative projects that will reduce carbon emissions. The projects, nine of which are located in disadvantaged communities Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., were selected by NYSERDA to participate in the Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development or Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Carbon Challenge programs and will advance community and economic development across New York State. This announcement supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050 and ensure 35% with a goal of 40% of clean energy investments directly benefit disadvantaged communities.

“We know that historically underserved communities are often most impacted by climate change and pollution. In New York, we’re righting the wrongs of the past by investing in projects that will reduce carbon emissions in communities statewide, especially in disadvantaged neighborhoods,” said Lieutenant Governor Delgado. “This is how we build cleaner, more equitable communities for New Yorkers across the state.”

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “These innovative retrofit and new construction projects are at the forefront of lowering emissions from buildings while revitalizing communities, including those that have been historically marginalized. These investments demonstrate how local, regional, and state resources can come together to meet a cross-section of climate, energy efficiency and economic development goals while providing for a greener future for residents and businesses alike.”

Commercial and Industrial Carbon Challenge Awards
The Commercial and Industrial (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, low-carbon fuel utilization, renewable generation or energy storage.

NYSERDA awarded more than $17 million for five projects located in Central New York, the Finger Lakes, New York City and Western New York.
The awarded projects include:

Central New York

  • Anheuser-Busch, LLC will complete multiple projects in pursuit of a Carbon Neutral Brewery at its plant in Baldwinsville, including the incorporation of a novel brewing process to reduce emissions and the electrification of loads formerly served by natural gas fueled steam and hot water generation systems.

Finger Lakes

  • University of Rochester* will switch central utility plant chillers from steam to electric. The entire project will accomplish significant carbon reduction and reduce Genesee River aquatic impacts while providing increased chilled water capacity.

New York City

  • Columbia University Irving Medical Center* will undergo a deep energy efficiency and electrification process upgrade to modernize labs in the Mary Woodard Lasker Biomedical Research Building by replacing an existing absorption chiller with an electrically driven chiller.
  • Pace University is reimagining its 1 Pace Plaza building in New York City via beneficial electrification and energy efficiency that will decrease the amount of steam used by over 75% and reduce total electricity consumption.

Western New York

  • Nestle Purina PetCare Co.* in Dunkirk will embark on an innovative carbon capture, utilization, and storage demonstration project to decarbonize the industrial steam generation process at the facility and reduce their carbon emissions.

Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development Awards
The Carbon Neutral Community Economic Development (CNCED) Program, administered by NYSERDA in partnership with Empire State Development and the New York Department of State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, focuses on the planning, design, and construction or renovation of regionally significant buildings that serve as anchors for neighborhood economic development and will operate at a carbon-neutral energy performance.

NYSERDA awarded more than $12 million for 10 projects located in the Capital Region, Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, New York City and Western New York.
The awarded projects include:

Capital Region

  • Underground Railroad Education Center* is making its Interpretive Center in Albany a new net zero energy building that includes reuse of salvaged materials, geothermal heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), and solar to meet sustainability goals including energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions while providing universal access.
  • The Kaz*, a former industrial site in the heart of Hudson’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative district, will create a vibrant new arts and food hub of carbon neutral design that includes all-electric mechanical and energy systems and rigorous weatherization.
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) - Rensselaer Childcare Center, which will expand access to high-quality, affordable childcare for local families in Troy will achieve Passive House and carbon neutral performance with all-electric heat pumps, energy recovery ventilation, and a highly energy efficient envelope in a new childcare facility.

Finger Lakes

  • GreenSpark Solar Green Workforce Training Center* will relocate its headquarters to Rochester, and construct a net zero energy facility on a remediated brownfield that will transform and revitalize a waterfront space adjacent High Falls State Park facilitating growth of the Genesee River Trail and the Roc the Riverway initiative.


  • GarageWORKS Studios Redevelopment* will transform a derelict former automotive garage located in Beacon into a vibrant community resource housing artist studios and spaces for community programming and events in a building with all-electric mechanical systems, a high-performance thermal envelope, roof-mounted solar panels and exterior plantings that will support energy-efficient heating and cooling.
  • Cornwall Social will be a multi-building agricultural facility in Cornwall, providing tourists and residents an opportunity to experience Hudson Valley agricultural and artisan products. The rehabilitation of the greenhouse and historic barn will achieve Passive House performance with geothermal HVAC, solar, and battery storage.
  • The Brook Farmhouse, a 19th-century farmhouse in New Paltz will be rehabilitated to house the Mohonk Preserve’s Conservation Science program where researchers will monitor the region’s ecosystems. Upgrades will include improved windows, doors, insulation, lighting, appliances, all-electric HVAC and hot water, and a solar array.

Mohawk Valley

  • Unity Hall Community Center* in Fort Plain will be rehabilitated to be fully electric, achieving carbon neutral and net zero energy performance. It will install a geothermal system for building cooling, heating and domestic hot water, an energy recovery ventilation system, and solar panels on the roof.

New York City

  • Columbia University Irving Medical Center* will build a new research facility offering new laboratory and office spaces that is all-electric, highly energy efficient, and includes air-source heat pumps to cover all heating and cooling needs. The project has been designed to achieve carbon neutral and LEED Gold certification.

Western New York

  • SIVA Powers America will build a new wind turbine assembly facility in Lockport to serve the booming North American distributed wind market, that will use energy efficient equipment to minimize energy use and will optimize the renewable energy capacity at the site with both wind and solar systems.

*Located in a disadvantaged community.

“New York State continues to make critical investments in projects to ensure a clean environment in disadvantaged communities in need of programs that create healthier communities and a better economic outlook,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “The announcement of $29 million awarded to build 15 innovative projects is part of Governor Hochul’s commitment to support residents and a flourishing economy with projects to create a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable state for all New Yorkers regardless of their background or income.”

Senator Kevin Parker said, “As we take steps to reduce carbon emissions across New York State, we are also investing in projects that support revitalization of our communities and create new economic development and job opportunities. I am pleased to see this next round of awards through NYSERDA’s programs, especially these projects that will benefit disadvantaged communities where these investments are needed most.”

Today’s announcement builds on the success of these two programs. Since 2018, NYSERDA has made 23 awards through C&I Carbon Challenge to projects at companies and higher education institutions that will cumulatively reduce 3.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, the equivalent of removing more than 820,000 vehicles from the road annually. NYSERDA has made awards to 60 projects across the state through the CNCED program since 2018, leveraging more than $800 million in public and private investment.

Funding for these programs was included in Round XIII of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.. The REDC process continues to support and empower regional stakeholders in developing strategic plans and funding priorities that meet local economic needs. Regional Councils reviewed projects from this program and provided scores that reflect how well a project aligns with a region’s goals and strategies. Applicants utilized the New York’s Consolidated Funding Application, the state’s single application for state resources, which includes programs administered by numerous agencies. It is designed to provide expedited and streamlined access to a combined pool of grant funds and tax credits from dozens of existing programs. A full list of Round XIII awards that have been made can be found here Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..


New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan

New York State's nation-leading climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that at least 35%, with a goal of 40%, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities. Guided by some of the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives, New York is on a path to achieving a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70% renewable energy generation by 2030, and economywide carbon neutrality by mid-century. A cornerstone of this transition is New York's unprecedented clean energy investments, including more than $55 billion in 145 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. These and other investments are supporting more than 165,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2021 and over 3,000% growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the State be zero emission by 2035. Partnerships are continuing to advance New York’s climate action with nearly 400 registered and more than 100 certified Climate Smart Communities, nearly 500 Clean Energy Communities, and the State’s largest community air monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities across the state to help target air pollution and combat climate change.



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 NYSERDA 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
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..