New York will sink $1.5B into renewable energy projects to spur clean energy jobs
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week announced a new Clean Climate Careers (CCC) initiative that will aim to create 40,000 clean energy jobs by 2020.
- As part of the program, the state is planning to invest $1.5 billion in renewable energy, aiming to procure an additional 2.5 million MWh each year. According to the governor's announcement, it is "the largest clean energy procurement by a state in U.S. history."
- New York rolled out its plan in the wake of President Trump's announcement that he would pull the United States out of the United Nations Paris climate accord. Similarly, the California Senate voted to move to 100% renewables after the decision was announced.
Cuomo last week signed an executive order committing New York to uphold Paris accord standards, echoing the defiant tone of dozens of states and cities. Large business interests also opposed the White House's decision to exit the agreement, which was signed onto by 195 counties in 2015.
"As the federal government abdicates its responsibility to address climate change — at the expense of our environment and economy—New York is leading the nation in advancing a clean energy future," Cuomo said in a statement. He called the $1.5 billion CCC initiative "a groundbreaking investment, representing the largest state clean energy procurement in U.S. history."
The initiative will be tackled in partnership with the ILR School's Worker Institute at Cornell University and Climate Jobs NY.
The Paris climate accord aims to limit global warming to 2°C this century, and would have required an 80% economywide decarbonization for the United States by 2050.
New York has issued requests for proposals for renewable energy projects to power approximately 350,000 homes. The state estimated the first in a series of major procurements would result in the development of 40 to 60 large-scale renewable energy projects by 2022. Complementary solicitations by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the New York Power Authority will invest up to $1.5 billion in wind, commercial solar and solar arrays, small and large-scale hydro, fuel cell and other technologies.
New York will also study possible efficiencies that can be achieved through the use of a Project Labor Agreement for the construction of Public Work projects associated with this initiative, aiming to create new apprenticeship opportunities for New Yorkers working in construction.
Additionally, to accelerate the BuildSmartNY and K-Solar initiatives, NYPA plans to double annual investments in energy efficiency and solar deployments from $150 million to $300 million through a mix of low-cost financing and additional private sector capital.
The Authority will also install more than 125 MW of solar capacity on schools and other public buildings by 2020—a 300% increase in distributed solar projects at public facilities statewide.
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