Developer aims for Local Law 97 compliance with carbon capture aid

Glenwood’s UWS high-rise home to city’s first residential rig

CarbonQuest's Shane Johnson and 1930 Broadway ( CarbonQuest, Getty, Google Maps)
CarbonQuest's Shane Johnson and 1930 Broadway (CarbonQuest, Getty, Google Maps)

As landlords scramble to come into compliance with Local Law 97, one building owner notched a citywide first in its bid to cut emissions.

Glenwood Management moved the city’s lone carbon-capture rig into the basement of the Grand Tier, a high-end apartment building on the Upper West Side. Bloomberg reported the rig was installed last year and takes up roughly six parking spaces.

The rig at the 30-story residence consists of pipes and compressors. It scrubs exhaust from two natural gas boilers, separating carbon dioxide from nitrogen and oxygen, before liquifying the carbon dioxide and storing it in metal tanks.

The device will help prevent Glenwood from being fined up to $100,000 starting next year, An executive with CarbonQuest, the startup that installed the carbon-capture device, told the outlet. A Glenwood executive said it cut emissions by 25 percent.

Glenwood plans on expanding the carbon-capture pilot to five other locations.

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The landmark climate law doesn’t explicitly cite carbon capture as a means to come into compliance with the legislation. Industry insiders, however, say it might count due to provisions in the law.

Local Law 97 sets out a goal of cutting emissions from the largest buildings 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. The city can start doling out fines to violators next year, penalties that will rise sharply at the end of the decade.

The city’s commercial landlords don’t appear ready for the law to take effect. The Real Estate Board of New York estimated almost 3,800 buildings will face fines next year and more than 13,000 buildings will be fined in 2030.

Owners are trying to come into compliance by any means necessary. At 100 Flatbush in downtown Brooklyn, Alloy Development is being fully electrified with the power of community solar panels and batteries to store intermittent output.

In Williamsburg, a landlord has for two years attempted to stick a lithium ion storage battery on the rooftop of his building, much to the dismay of concerned residents.

— Holden Walter-Warner