Governor Hochul Announces New Competitive Solicitation Calling for 2,000 Megawatts or More of New Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects
Once Completed, Awarded Projects Will Be Able To Power at Least 600,000 New York Homes
September 21, 2022
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the release of New York's sixth competitive solicitation calling for 2,000 megawatts or more of new large-scale renewable energy projects. The projects will have the capacity to power at least 600,000 New York homes and maintain the predictable pace of state-contracted opportunities for private renewable energy developers. Once selected, the development of these projects is expected to spur nearly $3 billion in clean energy investments and create over 2,000 family-sustaining jobs in the green economy. Bringing more clean energy onto the grid accelerates progress toward achieving New York's goal to obtain 70 percent of electricity statewide from renewable sources by 2030.
"Renewable energy is the backbone of New York's sweeping approach to cleaning our electric grid and offers the industry a reliable path to join in our clean energy transition for the benefit of all New Yorkers," Governor Hochul said. "The strong public-private partnerships formed to build these projects will allow us not only to drastically lower emissions in our fight against climate change but will result in thousands of new green jobs, billions of dollars in economic growth, and an injection of private investment into local communities."
With today's action, New York is accelerating the most ambitious state-led clean energy agenda in the United States, contracting with over 120 new large-scale land-based renewable energy facilities including solar farms, onshore wind farms, and hydroelectric facilities - some of which have been paired with energy storage. The projects selected through this solicitation are expected to generate approximately 4.5 million megawatt hours of renewable electricity per year, enough renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions by 2 million metric tons - the equivalent of removing a half-million cars from the road annually.
NYSERDA expects to notify the awarded developers in the spring of 2023. Payments under these awards will not commence until projects have obtained all required permits and approvals and become operational to power New York.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO said, "Coming off a historic award group earlier this year, New York is moving ahead with full force as we look to build more large-scale renewable energy projects across the state in our march towards the State's renewable energy goal and beyond. Governor Hochul is committed to ensuring local communities have a voice in the development of these projects, and NYSERDA looks forward to working with the selected developers and host municipalities to ensure these projects are advanced responsibly and bring forward substantial community and economic benefits."
Notable provisions in this solicitation include but are not limited to:
- Delivering job creation and benefits to disadvantaged communities by favorably evaluating projects that can tangibly advance benefits for these historically underserved communities, and strongly encouraging workforce development commitments and partnerships with labor and trade organizations.
- Setting a minimum U.S. iron and steel purchase requirement to encourage the utilization of domestic steel in the construction of solar and wind facilities and requiring developers to provide opportunities for U.S.-based steel suppliers to participate in the renewable energy industry, in keeping with the intent of the New York Buy American Act.
- Requiring that workers associated with the construction of any awarded facility be paid the applicable prevailing wage to ensure construction quality and ensure family-sustaining jobs for New Yorkers.
- Encouraging and preferentially evaluating developers that commit to utilizing New York State Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOBs).
- Incentivizing proposers to avoid development on the highest quality agricultural lands, and commit to co-utilization measures to support continued agricultural operations as well as funding to support regional agricultural operations.
- Ensuring that communities that will host successfully awarded projects are fully involved in the development process, and that proposers demonstrate a commitment to frequent and active community engagement.
- Continuing to encourage proposals that cost-effectively pair renewable energy with energy storage technologies, including preferential evaluation of proposals that site storage facilities in primarily fossil-served regions of the state to combat the acute impacts of pollution that disadvantaged communities have disproportionately borne.
Eligible projects include any large-scale renewable project that can be certified as a Tier 1 renewable technology and entered operation after January 1, 2015. Participating projects not yet in operation must show evidence that they are capable of reaching commercial operation May 2025, with the option to extend to May 2028.
Interested proposers can apply on NYSERDA's Tier 1 Solicitations webpage. Step One Eligibility Applications are due on November 16, 2022, by 3:00 p.m. ET. A webinar will be held on October 6, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. ET to provide more information on this solicitation. Those interested in the webinar can sign up on the webinar registration page and are encouraged to register and submit questions in advance to [email protected].
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "The renewable energy industry is the future of creating a sustainable and well-paid workforce. Private investment will revitalize local communities and energize the New York State economy. These renewable energy projects are a big win for New Yorkers."
As the State progresses toward the 2030 renewable energy target and beyond, it will continue to emphasize and enhance engagement with the host communities where the projects are being developed. NYSERDA offers resources and no-cost technical assistance to help local governments understand how to manage responsible clean energy development in their communities, including step-by-step instructions and tools to guide the implementation of clean energy, including permitting processes, property taxes, siting, zoning, and more.
Assemblymember Michael Cusick said, "As New York continues toward the achievement of its aggressive clean energy goals, I commend Governor Hochul for launching another public opportunity for utility-scale renewable energy projects that will ensure the state's electricity is increasingly powered by solar and wind resources. Today's announcement will further build on this progress while spurring private investment and new green jobs in communities across the state."
Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters said, "The New York League of Conservation Voters applauds NYSERDA's 6th competitive solicitation for additional large-scale renewable energy projects. The projected 2,000 family-sustaining jobs that will be created as a result demonstrates Governor Hochul's deep commitment to nurturing a green energy economy that works for New York's middle class, and the additional 2,000-plus megawatts of clean energy means New York will continue its steady march toward a zero-emission energy grid."
Zack Dufresne, Executive Director, New York Solar Energy Industries Association said, "NYSEIA is thrilled to see New York State continue to make good on its promise to leverage private renewable energy development in building a cleaner and more sustainable electric grid. The clean energy projects awarded through NYSERDA's predictable solicitation process will add to the more than 12,000 solar jobs in our State, increase investments and opportunities in local communities, and accelerate our progress toward the State's ambitious CLCPA goals. We are grateful for Governor Hochul's leadership and the steadfast efforts of New York's executive agencies in working towards building a cleaner future for the next generation."
Anne Reynolds, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York stated, "It makes perfect sense for New York to release this next solicitation for wind power and solar power projects during Climate Week NYC, as building new renewable energy projects is the foundation of New York's plan to tackle climate change. Clean energy developers will now compete for a long-term contract with New York. In this way, the best-designed and best-priced projects should win and get built, creating construction jobs and clean power for New Yorkers."
Once selected, these projects will add to New York's robust pipeline of large-scale renewable energy projects, which are expected to deliver over 14,200 megawatts of clean power to the grid when completed - enough to power nearly five and a half million New York homes. The State's commitment to building out new green energy transmission, led by 250 miles of new major upgrades already underway throughout the state, and with the Clean Path New York and Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission lines approved in April, will allow the current pipeline of renewables to power over 66 percent of New York's electricity from renewable sources once operational.
New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan
New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.