- New York on Thursday launched its sixth competitive solicitation for large-scale renewable resources, seeking 2,000 MW to come online as late as 2028. Initial applications are due Nov. 16 to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
- The solicitation encourages renewables paired with energy storage technologies, sets minimum U.S. iron and steel purchase requirements, and gives special consideration to projects benefiting disadvantaged communities.
- The solicitation comes as New Yorkers are bracing for higher electricity costs. The New York Independent System Operator last week warned of “a sharp rise in wholesale electric costs expected this winter,” largely due to the cost of natural gas.
New York is working to obtain 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and continues to build out utility-scale projects alongside a flourishing base of distributed resources.
New York “is moving ahead with full force as we look to build more large-scale renewable energy projects across the state,” NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris said in a statement.
The solicitation is expected to result in the generation of approximately 4.5 million MWh annually, sufficient to reduce the state’s carbon emissions by 2 million metric tons, officials said.
NYSERDA will host a webinar on Oct. 6 to provide more information on the solicitation. Projects must show the ability to reach commercial operation in by May 2025, though the solicitation provides an option to extend the deadline until May 2028.
Solar developers in New York celebrated the solicitation.
“The clean energy projects awarded through NYSERDA's predictable solicitation process will add to the more than 12,000 solar jobs in our state,” Zack Dufresne, executive director of the New York Solar Energy Industries Association, said in a statement.
The solicitation for utility-scale renewables follows NYSERDA’s competitive solicitation for offshore wind, issued in July.
New York is also looking to distributed solar to help meet its climate goals. On Wednesday, the state announced 4 GW of community, residential, small commercial and industrial solar projects have been installed — sufficient to power more than 710,000 homes.
The state is on track to exceed its goal of having 6 GW of distributed solar installed by 2025, officials said, en route to 10 GW by 2030.
New York is racing to add renewables as the price of natural gas drives up electricity costs.
The state’s grid operator on Sept. 13 warned wholesale electric costs are expected to rise sharply this winter “due to several economic and geopolitical factors that continue to impact the market cost of natural gas used in the production of electricity.”
Nationally, electric generators paid more than $7/MMBtu on average for natural gas this summer, compared with less than $4/MMBtu the summer before, according to an ISO report on the anticipated electricity price hikes. In February the New York average year-to-date wholesale electricity cost was $118.36/ MWh — a 123% increase from the same period in 2021. State officials say utility bill pain is not limited to New York, however, with inflation, the war in Ukraine and lingering impacts of Covid-19, all playing roles.
“The price spikes we’ve recently seen are not something limited just to New Yorkers. This is a global issue, a national issue, and it’s affecting everyone from Maine to California,” New York Public Service Commission Chairman and CEO Rory Christian said.