Governor Cuomo Announces $150 Million Available for Renewable Energy Projects

Funding will build and expand large solar, wind, hydro and other renewable energy projects to meet state goal of 50 percent renewables by 2030

April 21, 2016

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $150 million in funding to support large-scale renewable energy projects across the state. This funding will facilitate public-private partnerships to advance the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy and ensure the state meets its goal of generating 50 percent of its electricity from carbon-free renewable energy projects by 2030.

“This state is a national leader in combating climate change and with this investment, we are taking our unprecedented efforts one more step toward a cleaner and greener New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will advance large-scale energy projects, continue build a clean energy economy, and generate opportunity for New Yorkers for generations to come.”

The announcement was made by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul at the semi-annual Advanced Energy Conference held at Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.

"Governor Cuomo has established the most ambitious goals for a clean energy economy in the nation,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “By leveraging private investment, we make it possible for the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators to create a future defined by renewable, sustainable energy production. We will cut costs to consumers, create jobs and combat climate change for the coming generations."

New York State Energy and Finance Chairman Richard Kauffman said, "New York State is demonstrating what is possible when leaders see growing the economy and protecting the environment as the same opportunity. This $150 million investment will spur the development of renewable energy projects across the state, create new jobs, and help achieve the Governor's aggressive goal of 50 percent renewables by 2030."

Support for these new large-scale projects will be provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in its final solicitation through the Main Tier of the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard. New York State’s future large-scale renewables strategy through the Clean Energy Standard is now under consideration by the Public Service Commission.

NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes said, "Large-scale renewable energy projects curb greenhouse gas emissions, promote a cleaner environment for New Yorkers, bring jobs and an added tax base to rural areas, and reduce electricity price volatility. By stimulating private investment in these projects, New York State is advancing Governor Cuomo’s bold vision for New York’s energy future.”

Public Service Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman said, "Spurring private investment in large-scale renewable energy projects will not only increase jobs and further develop New York’s clean-tech economy, it will also help us achieve Governor Cuomo’s goal of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the state. In this way, New York can be the catalyst for sustained, long-term growth of renewable energy, protecting public health and improving the environment.”

This $150 million competitive solicitation supports significant private investment in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, fuel cells, biomass, renewable biogas and upgrades to hydropower projects. Contracts will be awarded for a term of up to 20 years. More information about the solicitation process is available at nyserda.ny.gov/rfp3257.

For every $1 invested in Main Tier projects, New York realizes $3 in economic benefits. More than $3 billion of direct investment in New York State is expected as a result of existing Main Tier projects in the form of jobs, payments to public entities, in-state purchase of goods and services and land leases, growth in the state’s clean energy economy and reduced emissions.

NYSERDA's previous ten Main Tier solicitations for large-scale renewable projects have resulted in approximately 1,849 megawatts of installed capacity at 67 projects that will generate more than five million megawatt-hours of renewable energy annually. NYSERDA has provided a total of $1.24 billion for Main Tier projects previously.

As a complement to the large-scale renewables funding announcement, New York State today launched the New York Generation Attribute Tracking System (NYGATS), which issues certificates for all generation, including renewable energy credits (RECs) that quantify the environmental benefits – such as the lack of greenhouse gas emissions – from energy generation projects. For more information on NYGATS and instructions on how to register, visit nygats.ny.gov.

Senator Joseph Griffo, chair of the Senate Energy Committee, said: “I am pleased that NYSERDA continues to take positive steps toward diversifying New York State’s energy portfolio with private investments in large-scale renewable energy projects. By fostering these public-private partnerships, New York State finds itself in a better position to protect the environment with the potential of attracting jobs, stimulating the economy and stabilizing power rates.”

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, chair of the Assembly Committee on Energy, said, “This round of funding will encourage developers to build projects in New York, adding valuable renewable energy resources to the grid. The large-scale renewable projects supported by this funding are key for our state to reach its ambitious goal of meeting 50 percent of the state's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030.”

About Reforming the Energy Vision

Reforming the Energy Vision is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and generating 50 percent of the state's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven 600 percent growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York State reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally-recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor's $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us at @Rev4NY.

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