Distributed Energy Resources

New York’s renewables, environmental efforts accelerate

New York State’s ambitious renewable energy and environmental goals advanced with the recent announcement of $1.5 billion in awards to renewable energy developers and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s unveiling a state “Green New Deal” that will statutorily mandate that the state’s power be 100 percent carbon-free by 2040, among other things.

Cuomo recently unveiled details of the state’s Green New Deal, which is included in the New York 2019 Executive Budget.

The Green New Deal will statutorily mandate New York's power be 100 percent carbon-free by 2040. The cornerstone of the new mandate is a significant increase of New York's Clean Energy Standard mandate from 50 percent to 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030.

The ramp-up of renewable energy will include:

  • Quadrupling New York's offshore wind target to 9,000 megawatts by 2035, up from 2,400 megawatts by 2030;
  • Doubling distributed solar deployment to 6,000 megawatts by 2025, up from 3,000 megawatts by 2023;
  • More than doubling new large-scale land-based wind and solar resources through the Clean Energy Standard;
  • Maximizing the contributions and potential of New York's existing renewable resources; and
  • Deploying 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030, up from 1,500 megawatts by 2025.

Cuomo’s office also said that the Green New Deal will create the state's first statutory Climate Action Council, comprised of the heads of relevant state agencies and other workforce, environmental justice, and clean energy experts to develop a comprehensive plan to make New York carbon neutral “by significantly and cost-effectively reducing emissions from all major sources, including electricity, transportation, buildings, industry, commercial activity, and agriculture.”

The Climate Action Council will consider a range of possible options, including the feasibility of working with the U.S. Climate Alliance to create a new multistate emissions reduction program that covers all sectors of the economy, including transportation and industry, and exploring ways to leverage the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to drive transformational investment in the clean energy economy and support a just transition. 

RGGI is a market-based regulatory program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and includes the participation of Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states.

The Green New Deal will also include a strategy to move New York's statewide building stock to carbon neutrality. The agenda includes: (1) Advancing legislative changes to strengthen building energy codes and establish appliance efficiency standards; (2) Directing state agencies to ensure that their facilities uphold the strongest energy efficiency and sustainability standards; and (3) Developing a Net Zero Roadmap to chart a course to statewide carbon neutrality in buildings.

The Green New Deal also includes new investments to jumpstart New York's offshore wind energy industry and support the state's world-leading target of 9,000 megawatts by 2035. New York will invest up to $200 million in port infrastructure to match private sector investment in regional development of offshore wind.

 Cuomo’s office said these new investments build upon a $250 million commitment to electric vehicle infrastructure by the New York Power Authority's EVolve program, $3.5 billion in private investment in distributed solar driven by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) NY-Sun program, and NY Green Bank transactions mobilizing nearly $1.75 billion in private capital for clean energy projects.

NYPA President and CEO Gil Quiniones said that the Green New Deal “puts New York on the fast track to realizing the goal of a carbon neutral energy system. Under the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy, the Power Authority has dedicated $250 million through 2025 in energy storage and demand response programs, and $200-300 million a year in energy efficiency measures and customer-sited renewables in public buildings across the state to lead by example.  We are excited to further build on this momentum under the Green New Deal.”

NYSERDA details awards for renewable energy projects

Cuomo also announced $1.5 billion in competitive awards to support large-scale solar, wind and energy storage projects across upstate New York.

In a separate announcement on Jan. 18, NYSERDA unveiled details of the $1.5 billion in competitive awards to support 20 large-scale solar, wind energy and storage projects across New York.

NYSERDA said the projects will generate $4 billion in direct investment in the clean energy sector and will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Combined with the renewable energy projects previously announced under Governor Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard, New York has now awarded 46 projects worth more than $2.9 billion, accelerating New York’s progress to meet the state’s unprecedented renewable energy goals within Cuomo’s Green New Deal, NYSERDA said.

“The awards also propel New York toward the governor’s ramped up mandate for 70 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 -- up from 50 percent -- and helps guide the state toward achieving carbon neutrality across all sectors of its economy as soon as possible including a 100 percent carbon-free electricity sector by 2040,” NYSERDA said.

Awards are second in a series of annual procurements

The awards are the second in a series of annual NYSERDA procurements to develop dozens of large-scale renewable energy projects under the Clean Energy Standard by 2030.

These projects and the 26 projects awarded in the first solicitation account for 20 percent additional new renewable capacity than was awarded under the decade-long renewable portfolio standard, the predecessor to Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard.

The awarded projects offered bids 14 percent lower in price than large-scale renewable project bids received just one year ago, and 23 percent lower than the bids received two years ago, NYSERDA said.

The projects include 16 large-scale solar projects, as well as four utility-scale wind projects. One of the solar projects and two wind projects will also include energy storage components.

Several projects will break ground as early as August 2019 and all projects are expected to be operational by 2022, adding over 1,654 megawatts of renewable capacity in New York and generating over 3,800,000 megawatt hours of energy annually.

Additional details on the projects are available here.

NYSERDA will issue the next solicitation for large-scale renewable energy under the Clean Energy Standard on April 22, 2019.