7 winning companies commit to cost-effective actions to reduce harmful emissions
√ Advances a transition for difficult-to-decarbonize, energy-intensive economic sectors
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority recently 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 Gov. 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.
The announcement supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050 and “advance a just transition for difficult-to-decarbonize and energy-intensive economic sectors.”
NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris 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 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 Cascades Containerboard Packaging Niagara Falls, which 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.
MACNY President and 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 and 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 Gov. 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 this 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.
A press release stated, “Commercial and industrial buildings account for 33% 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.