Governor Cuomo Announces Third Solicitation for Large Scale Renewable Energy Projects to Accelerate the Development of Clean Energy and Combat Climate Change

Expected to Spur Over One Billion Dollars in Clean Energy Investments and Create Over 1,000 Good-Paying Short- and Long-Term Jobs

April 23, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the third annual solicitation for large-scale renewable energy projects under the state's Clean Energy Standard. The solicitation is expected to support approximately 1.5 million megawatt-hours of renewable electricity per year, enough to power over 200,000 homes, and will accelerate New York's transition to a clean energy economy. The solicitation is also expected to spur over one billion dollars in private investment, creating over 1,000 good-paying jobs for New Yorkers. Today's announcement advances progress toward New York's proposed nation-leading commitment to secure 70 percent of the state's electricity from renewable resources by 2030 under Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal.

"For the third year in a row, New York is continuing to lead by example when it comes to advancing large-scale renewable energy projects that will bring significant economic growth and good-paying jobs to the state," Governor Cuomo said. "This action builds on our strong commitment to renewable energy and will be a critical part of the state's bold plan to meet the unprecedented challenges posed by climate change."

"We are committed to supporting renewable energy projects across the state as part of our aggressive clean energy goals," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This solicitation for large-scale projects continues our efforts to power more homes and create more good paying jobs. New York continues to lead the nation to protect our environment and combat climate change for future generations."

The state is issuing this solicitation as the third in a series of annual procurements under the Clean Energy Standard and is expected to result in the development of dozens of large-scale renewable projects. In the last two years alone, New York has awarded $2.9 billion in contracts to 46 land-based wind and solar projects, creating $7 billion in direct investment in the clean energy sector. These projects will generate over 7.1 million megawatt-hours each year - enough renewable energy to power nearly one million homes - with recently awarded bid prices 23 percent lower than those awarded just two years ago.

Community engagement and on-the-ground support is crucial for the successful development of renewable energy projects, and the solicitation released today includes important standards and requirements for effective community outreach and planning.

Notable provisions in this solicitation also include:

  • Requiring that workers associated with the construction of any awarded facility be paid the applicable prevailing wage, a standard set by the New York State Department of Labor, ensuring that the projects will result in quality, good-paying jobs for New Yorkers;
  • Preserving and protecting New York's valuable agricultural resources by providing bonus points for renewable energy projects that avoid overlap with land of agricultural importance to New York State; and
  • Continuing to encourage proposals that cost-effectively pair renewable energy with advanced energy storage technologies to help meet Governor Cuomo's commitments to deploy 1,500 megawatts of energy storage by 2025 and 3,000 megawatts by 2030. 

To learn more about the large-scale renewable solicitation, please visit NYSERDA's website. Initial submissions are due by June 13, 2019.

The announcement maintains a predictable pace of annual solicitations for renewable energy developers and will support continued development and investment in clean energy projects across the state, an important step toward meeting Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal proposal to more than double new large-scale land-based wind and solar resources through the Clean Energy Standard. NYSERDA expects to announce the awards in November 2019.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, "The large-scale renewable projects already awarded under the Clean Energy Standard will generate enough renewable energy to power the four largest upstate cities while bringing good paying jobs and economic benefits to local host communities. Building upon our momentum, future projects will continue to help lower consumer costs, deliver meaningful environmental benefits, and move us ever-closer to achieving Governor Cuomo's aggressive renewable energy goals under the Green New Deal.  NYSERDA is committed to working with local governments and community stakeholders to ensure they are fully engaged in renewable project development and have the tools and resources to responsibly site projects in their communities."

Senate Energy Committee Chair Senator Kevin Parker said, "Ambitious goals are obtained by decisive and effective strategic planning. As the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Telecommunications, I commend Governor Cuomo for taking the necessary steps to make certain that New York State is working diligently to meet our state's energy goals. As we launch the process to solicit vendors for renewable energy projects we are simultaneously working to ensure we not only meet our goal of 100 percent clean and carbon-free by 2040, but additionally generating over 1,000 new green collar job opportunities."

Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Senator Todd Kaminsky said, "Enhancing New York's clean energy production is vital in combating climate change and securing our future. I commend Governor Cuomo for his continued support of large-scale renewable energy projects that will benefit New Yorkers across the state in the form of climate change mitigation, clean air and green jobs. This extraordinary pace will be necessary in order to meet New York's ambitious Clean Energy Standard and preserve natural resources for generations to come."

The Alliance for Clean Energy New York Executive Director Anne Reynolds said, "To tackle climate change, we must build new clean, pollution-free power projects, like wind and solar. Today's new call for renewable energy projects from NYSERDA is excellent news, as it will allow developers to compete for the long-term contracts that get projects financed and built and will create jobs for New Yorkers. She continued, "We sincerely appreciate Governor Cuomo's continuing commitment to annual solicitations to attract this private investment to New York State."

The Nature Conservancy in New York Chief Conservation and External Affairs Officer Stuart F. Gruskin said, "We applaud Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA for building a renewable energy economy across the state. Accelerating responsible development is a critical step in achieving New York's ambitious Renewable Energy Standard. Climate change is the greatest threat we face and transitioning to a clean energy economy will enable New York to create good jobs, safeguard our communities, and protect our environment."

Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, said, "Today's announcement by NYSERDA that all large-scale, land-based renewable energy projects will include prevailing wage language reinforces New York State's commitment to creating family-sustaining careers fighting the climate crisis. We applaud the Cuomo Administration for leading the nation in action on addressing the dual crises of climate change and income inequality."

Independent Power Producers of New York President & CEO Gavin Donohue said, "A more diverse and efficient electric system is a must. We applaud Governor Cuomo for once again expanding private sector investment in renewable resources to meet New York's clean energy goals. In-state resource development is a huge win for local economies."

New York State's Green New Deal
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Green New Deal, the nation's leading clean energy and jobs agenda, will aggressively put New York State on a path to economy-wide carbon neutrality. This initiative will provide for a just transition to clean energy, spurring the growth of the green economy and mandating New York's power be 100 percent clean and carbon-free by 2040, one of the most aggressive goals in the U.S. The cornerstone of this newly proposed mandate is a significant increase of New York's successful Clean Energy Standard to 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030. As part of the unprecedented ramp-up of renewable energy, New York has already invested $2.9 billion into 46 large-scale renewable projects across the state as it significantly increases its clean energy targets, such as: quadrupling New York's offshore wind target to a nation-leading 9,000 megawatts by 2035; doubling distributed solar deployment to 6,000 megawatts by 2025; and deploying 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030. To support this ambitious work, NY Green Bank intends to use its expertise in overcoming financing gaps to foster greater environmental impacts per public dollar by raising over $1 billion in third party funds to expand climate financing availability across New York and the rest of North America.

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