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Cuomo announces third solicitation for large-scale renewable energy projects to accelerate development of clean energy, combat climate change

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Tue, Apr 23rd 2019 04:10 pm

Expected to spur over $1 billion in clean energy investments & create over 1,000 good-paying jobs

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo 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 $1 billion in private investment, creating over 1,000 good-paying jobs for New Yorkers.

The 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 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," 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 Lt. Gov. 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 past 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 1 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 includes important standards and requirements for effective community outreach and planning. Notable provisions in this solicitation also include:

•Requiring 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 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; and

•Continuing to encourage proposals that cost-effectively pair renewable energy with advanced energy storage technologies to help meet 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, visit NYSERDA's website. Initial submissions are due by June 13.

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 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.

Alicia Barton, NYSERDA president and CEO, 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 Gov. 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."

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.

The Nature Conservancy in New York Chief Conservation and External Affairs Officer Stuart F. Gruskin said, "We applaud Gov. 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."

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