N.Y. to open fourth round of funding initiative

By Erin Voegele | May 01, 2014

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has launched Round IV of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative, kicking of the 2014 competition for up to $750 million in state economic development resources. The initiative has supported several bioenergy projects over the past three years.

According to information released by Cuomo’s office, the consolidated funding application (CFA) will open to applicants May 1. The CFA enables businesses, municipalities, nonprofits and the public to apply for assistance from dozens of state funding programs through a single application.

Of the up $750 million in state funding and tax incentives available through Round IV of the REDC initiative, the REDCs will complete for up to $150 million in capital funds and $70 million in Excelsior Tax Credits for projects and activities identified by the council’s as priorities in their regions. The governor’s office noted the remaining $530 million from state agency programs will be awarded through the CFA process. The competition this year is expected to focus on the implementation of regional strategic economic development plans, performance in encouraging economic growth through jobs creation and investment, and identification of global marketing and export strategies.

"New York’s economy is on a come-back in large part because we have adopted a grassroots approach to economic development that is creating jobs and growing new industries across our state,” Cuomo said. “The Regional Councils are working and we plan to continue that success with the fourth round this year.  I look forward to seeing the new projects that the regions come up with as we continue to grow our economy and put New Yorkers back to work.”

The CFA will open to applicants on May 1. The deadline to apply is June 16. Additional information on the CFA is available on the New York State website. https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/

Several bioenergy projects were awarded funding during the first three years of the initiative. Some examples include:

- In 2011, the GUSC Energy Inc. was awarded $1.5 million for a 15 MW combined-heat-and-power (CHP) project that used biomass to generate steam and electricity for Griffiss Business and Technology Park customers in Rome, N.Y.

- In 2011, the town of Saranac was awarded $250,000 to develop local land management tools and conduct a feasibility study for locally produced biomass fuels for energy.

- In 2011, Seneca Bioenergy LLC was awarded $7 million for the Seneca AgBio Green Energy Park.

- In 2012, Dunkirk Bioenergy LLC was awarded $350,000 for the Dunkirk Bioenergy Power Generation Project, which is designed to process organic waste for power generation.

- In 2012, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the Research Foundation of SUNY was awarded $245,000 for a project titled Biomass Cooperative Innovation Center, which included the creation of a biomass and biofuel processing facility.

- In 2012, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry was awarded $500,000 for the Central New York Biotechnology accelerator to purchase lab equipment for potential biotech incubator tenants and university collaborators.

- In 2012, The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry was awarded $397,831 for willow biomass crop deployment, including an outreach and training program.

- In 2012, Old Forge Properties Inc. received $1 million for a biomass district heating project to eliminate the use of heating oil.

- In 2012, the Village of Tupper Lake received $300,000 to support the design and engineering of a new biomass-fired district heating system.

- In 2012, The Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership received $1 million to install a biomass-fueled cogeneration plant and gas-fired steam turbine.

- In 2012, Bioenergy Project Partners received $600,000 to support the installation of high-efficiency wood pellet boilers at three sites.

- In 2012, Green Renewable Inc. received $550,000 to improve its facility for producing and packaging several products, including boiler chips.

- In 2013, CH4 Biogas LLC received $2 million to support the development of a biogas plant.

- In 2013, North Country Community College received $55,000 for a feasibility for the Ticonderoga biomass project.

- In 2013, Bioenergy Project Partners LLC received more than $1.39 million to install advanced high-efficiency wood pellet boilers at five institutional buildings.

- In 2013, Essex County received nearly $1.94 million for a renewable energy project that included biomass, pellet and anaerobic digestion components.

- In 2013, Applied Biorefinery Sciences received $256,960 to support engineering and construction of a biorefinery demonstration facility at the site of a former paper mill.

- In 2103, Applied Biorefinery Sciences received $625,000 to construct its biorefinery demonstration.

- In 2013, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute received $125,000 to link numerous regional biobased assets and business development programs into one unified program.

- In 2013, Taylor Biomass Energy LLC received $1 million to build a large-scale waste-to-energy facility.

- In 2013, Downstate Technology Center received $125,000 for the Brooklyn Biotech Certified Incubator to link regional biobased assets and business development programs into one unified program.