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NASRC: $880,000 Secured for Sustainable Refrigeration in the Retail Industry

The North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC), a nonprofit environmental organization that works in partnership with the food industry to promote climate-friendly natural refrigerants, recently announced that it has secured a total of $880,000 in project support funding for the transition of food supermarkets to a sustainable and natural-based refrigeration through its pilot program AIP (Aggregated Incentives Program).

 

Launched in 2020, NASRC's AIP pilot project was the first free platform of its kind through which NASRC coordinated incentive funding for natural refrigerant projects in California grocery stores. The pilot project was designed to strengthen the California Air Resources Board (CARB) F-Gas Reduction Incentive Program (FRIP), which was set up to support the transition to climate-friendly refrigerants resulting from HFC reduction measures of the CARB which will come into force on January 1, 2022.

 

FRIP is part of California Climate Investments, a state program that invests billions of dollars to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to strengthen the economy and to improve public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities. FRIP was established to address the fact that upfront costs remain a significant obstacle for retailers to transition to low GWP refrigerants.

 

Recently, CARB awarded FRIP grants to 15 food projects across California, 12 of which were funded through the NASRC AIP pilot and accounted for $880,000 of the total $1 million awarded. Projects funded through AIP will use natural climate-friendly refrigerants with near-zero GWP, such as CO2 and propane.

 

The grants will support innovative projects, including partial transitions to natural refrigerants in four existing Whole Foods Market facilities. Since natural refrigerants are not a “drop-in” solution, they require a complete system replacement rather than a simple gas retrofit, representing a much greater challenge for retailers.

 

ALDI, another national chain grocer, has received awards for seven projects through NASRC's AIP, four of which are in disadvantaged communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change.

 

In addition to the grants, FRIP winners will participate in data sharing and service workforce development activities, further addressing the obstacles that are slowing the adoption of natural refrigerants in the United States. NASRC is supporting the implementation of these activities as part of its AIP pilot project.

 

Due to the COVID pandemic, FRIP funding was not renewed in California's fiscal year 2021 budget. NASRC is pushing for the program to receive additional funding in the future to support full or partial replacement of the system in existing stores.

 

NASRC: $880,000 Secured for Sustainable Refrigeration in the Retail Industry

Author, Riccardo Tigani   Linkedin Page
General Manager at Linea3C Srl

30th April 2021

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