- The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or NYSERDA, on Thursday announced the selection of 22 large-scale solar and energy storage projects it says will generate $2.7 billion in private investment and move the state closer to its goal of delivering 70% renewable energy by the end of the decade.
- The projects, including more than 2 GW of solar and about 160 MW of storage, represent the state's largest land-based procurement of large renewables to date and set New York on pace to deliver 66% renewable electricity by 2030.
- Also this week, the New York Senate passed legislation authorizing the New York Power Authority to develop and own renewable energy projects and phase out fossil generation. The New York State Build Public Renewables Act now heads to the state Assembly, where backers say it has strong support.
New York is making "serious progress" on the goals contained in its Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, say clean energy advocates. The 2019 law directed the state to deliver only zero-emission electricity by 2040.
"The renewable energy industry is seriously stepping up to develop and invest," Alliance for Clean Energy New York Executive Director Anne Reynolds said in a statement. "We look forward to the construction jobs and pollution-free power these projects will deliver."
The 22 projects selected by NYSERDA are spread across six regions of New York, and were awarded to companies affiliated with Boralex, Nexamp, East Light Partners, ConnectGen, CS Energy, SunEast Development, ReneSola Power, Borrego Solar, Cypress Creek Renewables, Northland Power and EDF Renewables.
The awards are the result of NYSERDA's 2021 solicitation for utility-scale renewable energy certificates. The authority selected five solar farms proposed by Montreal-based Boralex, totaling 540 MW of generation and 77 MW of storage.
The announcement "solidifies Boralex’s role in New York State’s energy market during this critical expansion of renewable electricity generation,” company President and CEO Patrick Decostre said in a statement. “These projects showcase the strategic, creative approaches to solar farm development and community engagement our reputation is built on."
Through the projects, New York officials say developers have committed to invest nearly $86 million in disadvantaged communities throughout the state, including occupational apprenticeships and scholarship programs. The state's 2019 climate law set a goal for 40% of the benefits of clean energy investments to be directed towards disadvantaged communities.
"These solar and energy storage projects will create thousands of jobs, invest in disadvantaged communities and build on private investment in renewables," New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Climate Action Council co-Chair Basil Seggos said in a statement.
Legislation passed by the New York Senate on Wednesday could also help grow renewable resources. Lawmakers say Senate Bill S6453C would authorize the New York Power Authority to develop and own renewable energy projects, phase out fossil generation and boost energy efficiency services.
The bill has the most cosponsors and supporters of any climate bill in the state's Assembly, according to advocacy group Public Power NY.
In order to meet New York's goals, "our state must commit to more renewable energy generation. We simply cannot afford to prolong the inevitable, by prioritizing further fossil fuel investments," Assemblywoman Sarah Clark, D, said in a statement. "NYPA must be empowered to own and build-out renewable energy projects."