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NYSERDA opens applications for $15 million Carbon Challenge

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has launched the third round of the Commercial and Industrial Carbon Challenge, making $15 million available as part of Round XI of the state’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

The C&I Carbon Challenge will help reduce carbon emissions at commercial and industrial businesses and institutions, combat climate change and drive economic growth statewide, officials said, and supports the state’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

“Launching the third round of the C&I Carbon Challenge demonstrates Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo’s steadfast commitment to investing in private-public partnerships that help to make some of New York’s largest energy users cleaner and more efficient,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris. “This funding will allow more commercial and industrial business owners across the state to adopt clean energy measures to reduce the onsite emissions and carbon footprint of their buildings while moving us closer to the achievement of the Governor’s nation-leading climate and clean energy goals.”

The C&I Carbon Challenge is a competitive program that provides funding to large commercial and industrial energy users to implement various cost-effective clean energy projects that reduce carbon emissions. The third round of funding is being made available to eligible businesses including manufacturers, colleges, health care facilities and more.

Funding will be provided in two categories. Category A is $10 million for proposals that include key solutions around beneficial electrification and reducing emissions related to manufacturing processes, while Category B is $5 million for proposals that employ energy efficiency, onsite clean energy generation or any other greenhouse gas reducing solution not included in Category A.

The challenge will provide awards ranging from $500,000 to $5 million. The deadline to apply is July 30.

“Building back better in New York state means continuing to fight climate change and investing in clean energy,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler. “NYSERDA’s $15 million challenge through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative will help commercial and industrial energy users find and implement projects to cut carbon emissions, supporting economic growth and encouraging greater sustainability across the state.”

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Power producer at Eastman Business Park wins $5 million in state carbon challenge

 The utility company that modernized energy production at the former Kodak Park and turned it away from coal has won $5 million from a carbon-reduction contest run by New York State.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Friday that Recycled Energy Development-Rochester LLC, known as RED-Rochester, was one of the two winners in the first round of the Commercial and Industrial Carbon Challenge.

International Paper in Ticonderoga also won $2.8 million for its reduction efforts. The companies have committed to reducing a total of nearly 850,000 tons of carbon in the next 15 years. RED-Rochester installed four natural gas boilers and converted an old coal-fueled boiler to natural gas to curtail carbon emissions while serving business clients at Eastman Business Park.

“Reducing carbon emissions is a critical piece of New York’s comprehensive strategy to combat climate change on all fronts,” Cuomo said. “We are proud to invest in New York companies that are committed to advancing clean energy projects in support of the State’s green economy and path to a carbon-neutral economy.”

According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency, commercial and industrial buildings account for 33 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in New York.

“The Carbon Challenge offers a unique opportunity to simultaneously reduce CO2 and invest in the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of Eastman Business Park,” said RED-Rochester President Craig E. Bennett. “It furthers our commitment to the environment and enhances our ability to attract and retain new industrial customers which create jobs and increases the tax base.”

In the next round of the carbon challenge, NYSERDA is making $15 million available for the competition. The deadline to apply is July 26. Information is available on the NYSERDA website.

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