TRENDS & TECHNOLOGY

Time is Running Out: Industrial and Process Efficiency Program from NYSERDA

POSTED BY TURTLE & HUGHES INDUSTRIAL CONTROL & AUTOMATION DEPARTMENT BLOG IN INDUSTRY NEWS & EVENTS, SERVICES


 

New York State is putting its money into increasing the efficiency — and hopefully, the profitability — of manufacturers through its NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) Industrial and Process Efficiency Program. Incentives are available until all the allocated funds have been distributed or until December 2017, whichever comes first.

 
The state has set aside approximately $39 million for studies and improvements at manufacturing and data centers throughout New York State. Incentives are available for projects that reduce electricity and/or fossil fuel consumption by improving manufacturing process productivity or data center efficiency.

 
Turtle & Hughes is participating in NYSERDA as a facilitator between New York State and its manufacturers. “There are no costs for site assessments or paperwork,” according to Billy Wresch, Vice President, Industrial Automation Sales at Turtle & Hughes. “We are available to shepherd the projects along because we understand the processes and technologies involved and can help to identify areas that can benefit from modernization or upgrades.”

Program Details

Energy savings are the basis for the calculation of the incentive payments, which are based on energy savings over a one year period and can’t exceed 50 percent of the project cost. The maximum incentives are $1 million per electric project and $500,000 per fossil fuel project. For customers with more than one project, the maximum incentive is $2 million and can include a combination of electric and fossil fuel projects. That leaves a lot of flexibility for companies to find ways to improve their operations.

 
According to Wresch, the effort to apply for incentives and execute proposed projects is worthwhile for companies of all sizes. For example, a light manufacturing facility may qualify for a relatively smaller award of $200,000. “The award is still worthwhile because the incentive mitigates the cost of doing the upgrade project,” explains Wresch. “These efforts are likely to see a payback within six to 18 months.” Once the original ROI has been accomplished, the ongoing savings will long outlive the projects themselves.

What Projects Qualify?

In order to participate in the programs, companies must be a customer of one of the following utilities and pay into the System Benefit Charge (SBC):

  • Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.
  • Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation
  • National Grid Generation d/b/a National Grid
  • National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation
  • New York State Electric & Gas Corporation
  • Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc.
  • Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation

Unlike some award opportunities, eligibility for a NYSERDA award doesn’t depend on the originality or inventiveness of the project submitted for consideration. Each project is considered on its own merits and evaluated for process-specific solutions that use commercially available systems and technologies. Wresch says, “We are available to work with manufacturers and data centers to identify their most viable opportunities and propose the appropriate components and services available to execute their projects and qualify for NYSERDA incentives.”

Energy Consumption Efforts

The overall goal of the NYSERDA Industrial and Process Efficiency Program is, as the program name suggests, to maximize the efficient use of energy. However, direct reduction in the use of electric or fossil fuel is not the only target. Companies that can increase their throughput using the same amount of energy may qualify as well. In addition, reduction of scrap, while not a direct reduction of energy use, does reduce energy required to process scrap and therefore also may qualify.

 
For data centers, optimizing server loads can reduce both the power used by servers and the load on cooling systems. Even projects that result in increased overall energy consumption may be eligible if they make improvements in the energy use per unit of production or computing.

 
The real opportunity here is to investigate current operations with a focus on energy efficiency and process improvement. Companies may have difficulty spotting areas that could benefit from modernization and result in improved energy efficiency. Because Turtle & Hughes understands the NYSERDA program, the energy market, and the array of products and services available to improve operations, we can help walk companies through the process of applying for and receiving available incentives.

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