State

NY to launch large-scale renewable energy projects

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Gov. Cuomo announced the initiative in a press release on April 22.

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New York state will begin construction of over 20 large-scale renewable energy infrastructure projects later this year as part of a collaboration between the state and leading firms in the field.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on April 22 that the projects will create more than 2,000 jobs statewide and prompt almost $1.5 billion in private investment, factors that could help stimulate economic recovery amid the pandemic.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority partnered with firms such as the Goldman Sachs Renewable Power Group, a company that sponsors solar energy projects, and CS Energy, an energy firm that specializes in solar power, to push the projects forward and advance Cuomo’s climate policy.

The projects are expected to generate enough renewable energy to power over 320,000 New York homes and reduce carbon emissions by nearly one million metric tons annually, according to Cuomo’s release.

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Cuomo reached an agreement with the state legislature in 2019 as part of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act to transition New York to derive 70% of its energy from renewable resources, such as wind, solar and hydropower, by 2030. This transformation is part of a larger goal to cut out 85% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

 

In pursuit of this goal, the energy research and development authority launched its fifth annual solicitation for corporations to engage in renewable energy projects. 

The solicitation is the state’s largest to date and calls for about 4.5 million megawatt-hours of renewable energy per year, enough to power nearly 600,000 homes, according to Cuomo’s release. The energy research and development authority plans to notify the developers who are selected in 2021.
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The solicitation includes provisions that are designed to strengthen New York state’s economic position and advance the interests of workers, said Roberta Reardon, commissioner of the state’s Department of Labor, in the release.

The provisions include fair wages, economic incentives for areas hosting renewable energy projects and community engagement between developers and the hosts for the projects.

“These large-scale renewable projects will foster much-needed investment and thousands of good-paying jobs across New York as we continue to rebuild the state’s economy with green energy,” Cuomo said. “We’re strengthening our commitment to renewable energy by creating new private-public partnerships that can accelerate the development of these critical resources.”

The energy research and development authority partnered with CS Energy, one of the leading solar companies in the state, to construct eight solar panel sites. The company’s experience and reputation makes it the most fitting corporation to work with the state to reach their clean energy goals, said Eric Millard, chief commercial officer of the firm, in a press release. 

“The benefits of solar projects to both the communities in which they are located and the state as a whole are immense. We are very optimistic about the future of renewable energy in New York,” Millard said in a statement.

CS Energy announced April 27 that their eight solar projects had initiated construction and estimated that they could become operational by the end of 2021. The sites would become the first operational utility-scale solar projects in upstate New York, according to the announcement. 

In addition to the renewable energy projects, the energy research and development authority is working to negotiate between agricultural organizations and solar developers, according to Cuomo’s release. The new Agricultural Technical Working Group would support farmland protection boards to make recommendations regarding responsible siting of solar on the state’s agricultural land, the release said.

“By making historic investments in renewable energy and creating good paying jobs, New York continues to show the rest of the country how to fight the effects of climate change and chart a cleaner, more sustainable path for the post-pandemic future,” Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a press release. 







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