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$8 Million Goes to N.Y. Companies at First Carbon Challenge
New York Ag Connection - 06/10/2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced two New York companies - International Paper and Recycled Energy Development-Rochester, LLC - as the first winners of the Commercial and Industrial Carbon Challenge. The companies are committing to reduce nearly 850,000 tons of carbon emissions combined over the next 15 years, the equivalent of taking approximately 12,000 cars off the road per year. To build on this momentum of reducing carbon emissions to improve statewide sustainability and combat climate change, $15 million is being made available to eligible building owners through the second round of the Challenge, which supports Governor Cuomo's ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

"Reducing carbon emissions is a critical piece of New York's comprehensive strategy to combat climate change on all fronts," Governor 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."

"These two innovative New York companies are advancing our plans to reduce emissions and protect the environment for generations to come," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "As winners of the Commercial and Industrial Carbon Challenge, their efforts support our overall goal to invest in clean energy projects and combat climate change for a cleaner and greener future for New Yorkers."

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 to develop various cost-effective clean energy projects that reduce carbon emissions. Projects may employ both energy efficiency or distributed energy resource solutions such as solar or energy storage to improve grid resiliency. The winning proposals demonstrated the highest potential for cost-effectively implementing carbon-reducing clean energy actions to be completed by 2021.

The winning projects include:

International Paper (Ticonderoga, NY) is a global-leading producer of fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper. The company was awarded $2.8 million to complete three energy efficiency projects, including turbine generator and power boiler optimizations and paper machine steam recovery at their Ticonderoga Mill. Through these projects, International Paper has committed to reducing nearly 225,000 tons of carbon emissions over the life the project - the equivalent of taking approximately 3,200 cars off the road per year.

RED Rochester, LLC (Rochester, NY) is a lightly regulated utility, exclusively serving a 1,200-acre service territory located in the Eastman Business Park industrial complex. It was awarded $5 million to complete multiple projects to implement efficiency upgrades to their electric, steam, chilled water, compressed air and nitrogen generation systems. RED Rochester has committed to reducing 625,000 tons of carbon emissions over the life of the project - the equivalent of taking approximately 8,800 cars off the road per year.

Alicia Barton, president and CEO, NYSERDA said, "New York's building stock is one of the largest contributors to harmful emissions across the state, and the Commercial and Industrial Carbon Challenge provides large building owners another strategic opportunity in addressing the efficiency of their buildings and reducing their energy costs. I congratulate International Paper and RED-Rochester for adopting these significant clean energy actions that are an example for other large energy users in helping reduce their carbon footprint and move the state closer to achieving Governor Cuomo's ambitious clean energy goals."

New York State Senate Energy Chairman Kevin Parker said, "Innovation through competition is the premise underlying the C&I Carbon Challenge. I would like to offer my sincerest congratulations to International Paper and Recycled Energy Development-Rochester, LLC. Their commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 850,000 tons over the next 15 years is just an example of how competitive, market-based solutions are the key to achieving New York's climate goals. I would also like to thank NYSERDA for administering this vital program, and would encourage the development of similar initiatives designed to address climate change in as many ways as possible."

Mike Amick, senior vice president, International Paper said, "At International Paper, we strive to leave everything in better shape for future generations, said Mike Amick, senior vice president, Paper the Americas and India, International Paper. "The Carbon Challenge award represents a great opportunity to partner with New York State Energy Research and Development Authority as we work on the common goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency projects."

RED-Rochester, LLC President Craig E. Bennett said, "The Carbon Challenge offers a unique opportunity to simultaneously reduce CO2 and invest in the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of Eastman Business Park. 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. We are privileged to partner with NYSERDA in support Governor Cuomo's ambitious goal to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 40 Percent by 2030."

NYSERDA is making $15 million available to eligible building owners through the second round of the Challenge, which is now open through the State's Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process. The Challenge will provide awards ranging from $500,000 to $5 million to partially offset development costs of clean energy projects that demonstrate the highest potential for cost-effectively implementing carbon-decreasing clean energy actions in buildings with an aggregate 12-month average demand of 3-megawatts or greater. Eligible building owners include but are not limited to colleges, universities, health care facilities, office buildings and manufacturing plants and others. The deadline to apply for the second round is July 26, 2019.

Commercial and industrial buildings account for 33 percent 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 is available through the State's 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund.

The 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund (CEF) is a core component of New York State's Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to achieve a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. The CEF includes a focused effort to bring more clean energy opportunities and benefits to low- to moderate-income communities and is designed to deliver on New York State's commitment to accelerate the use of clean energy and energy innovation and drive economic development, while reducing ratepayer collections. NY Green Bank, a core component of the CEF, has generated $51.8 million in positive net income as a result of $637.6 million in investments in clean energy transactions across New York. The $1 billion NY-Sun initiative has already helped facilitate a more than 1,500 percent increase in solar deployment since 2011. The CEF supports the proposed increase in New York's Clean Energy Standard requiring 70 percent of the state's electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030 as part of Governor Cuomo's nation-leading Green New Deal.

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