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NYSERDA: $10 million available for carbon-neutral community economic development projects


Mon, May 16th 2022 01:25 pm

Projects would accelerate decarbonization & economic development in disadvantaged communities, downtown revitalization districts

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announced $10 million is available under the fourth round of the carbon neutral community economic development program as part of round XII of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative announced May 2.

A press release said, “Projects funded through this program are accelerating decarbonization and economic development in disadvantaged communities. Today’s announcement supports Gov. Hochul’s ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050 and ensure that clean energy investments benefit disadvantaged communities across the state.”

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris said, “NYSERDA is looking forward to seeing more great project proposals that have the potential to revitalize their communities while advancing energy efficiency, electrification and the incorporation of on-site renewable energy. With each round of funding, we are reducing climate change-causing building emissions in support of achieving a carbon neutral building stock by mid-century, as well as bringing job opportunities to under resourced communities.”

The carbon neutral community economic development program is administered by NYSERDA in partnership with Empire State Development and the New York State Department of State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative. It provides incentives with focused support for projects located in disadvantaged communities and downtown revitalization initiative districts, as well as commercial and mixed-use facilities that are regionally significant, to reduce emissions and improve quality of life for residents and visitors. In addition, NYSERDA prioritizes investments in decarbonization projects that result in jobs that provide family-sustaining wages and benefits, helping to support the transition to a clean energy economy.

The deadline for applications is 4 p.m. Friday, July 29. Interested proposers can find more information or apply to this program here.

The fourth round of the carbon neutral community economic development program includes three categories, with a new category C, in which funding is available:

Category A:

•Eligible New York state commercial, industrial, institutional, municipal and mixed-use applicants may apply for incentives for the construction of, or renovation to existing buildings, including an existing central plant, designed to achieve carbon neutral or net zero energy performance, and demonstrate how the approach is replicable cost effective. Project awards will be up to 60% of eligible costs, or $2 million, whichever is less.

Category B:

•Eligible communities, neighborhoods, campuses and owners of large real estate portfolios in New York state with projects of at least 500,000 square-feet (of new construction or rehabilitation), or a total project implementation cost of at least $50 million, may apply for incentives for the planning, energy modeling and design necessary to convert the proposed building portfolio to achieve carbon neutral or net zero energy performance. Project awards will be up to 75% of the eligible costs, with a minimum project award amount of $1 million and a maximum project award amount of $2 million.

Category C:

•Eligible New York state large commercial, industrial or institutional applicants may apply for incentives for the incremental cost of planning, design, construction of, or renovation to existing campus, buildings or central plant, including installation of technologies and modification of industrial processes to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas or greenhouse gas-equivalent emissions while demonstrating the project’s regional significance and statewide impacts. Project awards will be up to 60% of eligible costs, or $2 million, whichever is less.

The program has 35 active projects that have been awarded $40 million in incentives since it was launched in 2018. Eight of the 19 projects announced last year are located in disadvantaged communities, and received $8.4 million of the $21 million awarded, which is consistent the state’s goal of 40% of clean energy investments benefitting disadvantaged communities.

A press release noted, “Buildings account for more than a third of greenhouse gas emissions in New York state, and most of the state’s current building stock was constructed before energy codes were passed and were, therefore, not constructed to be energy efficient. Decarbonized buildings and communities will help improve building resiliency, occupant health and productivity.”

The 2022 funding round for the carbon neutral economic development program is part of the state consolidated funding application (CFA) enabling businesses, municipalities, not-for-profits and the public to apply for assistance through a single application from dozens of state programs for job-creation and community development projects.

Funding is available through the state's 10-year, $6 billion Clean Energy Fund and through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov.

Learn more about the CFA here.

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