Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the second solicitation for large-scale renewable energy projects under the state’s Clean Energy Standard. The solicitation for up to 20 projects will accelerate New York’s transition to a clean energy economy and is expected to spur up to $1.5 billion in private investment and create more than 1,000 new well-paying jobs for New Yorkers.
The solicitation is expected to support 1.5 million megawatt-hours of renewable electricity per year, enough to power 200,000 homes, and advance New York’s nation-leading commitment to secure 50% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
“This administration continues to champion renewable energy projects across New York, and this is a major step forward in our efforts to create clean jobs and set an example for the rest of the nation,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this action we will continue to capitalize on our natural assets, expand economic opportunities and lay the groundwork for a cleaner, greener New York for generations to come.”
The state is issuing this solicitation as the second in a series of major procurements that are expected to result in the development of dozens of large-scale renewable energy projects by 2022 under the Clean Energy Standard. Community engagement and on-the-ground support is crucial for the successful development of renewable energy projects, and the RFP released this week includes new standards and requirements for effective community outreach and planning.
The RFP also ensures that good-paying jobs will be created by requiring the prevailing wage for applicable positions.
Notable new provisions in this solicitation include:
- Requiring that 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 that 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 State;
- Ensuring that communities that would host successfully awarded projects are fully aware of the development process, proposers will be required to demonstrate that they have engaged with those communities and have also commenced the associated permitting processes; and
- Continuing to encourage proposals that cost-effectively pair renewable energy with advanced energy storage technologies to help meet Governor Cuomo’s commitment to deploying 1,500 MW of energy storage by 2025.
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 New York State.
The move builds on the Governor’s announcement with Vice President Al Gore in March when the state reaffirmed its commitment to cleaner, smarter energy solutions, including the announcement of large-scale renewable energy project awards and a formal request to the federal government for an exclusion from the new five-year National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
This solicitation supports NYSERDA’s 2017 solicitation through which a $1.4 billion investment dedicated to renewable energy projects was announced earlier this year. That investment included 22 utility-scale solar farms, three wind farms and one hydroelectric project. One of the wind farms features an energy storage component, marking the first time a large-scale renewable energy project has done so in New York State.
The request also builds upon a New York Power Authority solicitation announced last June in concert with NYSERDA’s first solicitation, that will procure 1 million MWh. This investment in large-scale clean energy supply will further expand NYPA’s leadership role as the state’s largest supplier of renewable electricity. NYPA received more than 130 proposals from 51 clean energy developers in response to its RFP. NYPA plans to announce selected developers and customers once contracts are signed, which is expected to be this summer.
These projects will advance the Clean Climate Careers initiative announced by Governor Cuomo in June 2017. The initiative focuses on accelerating renewable energy and energy efficiency to make New York home to 40,000 new, good-paying clean energy jobs by 2020. According to the 2017 New York Clean Energy Industry Report, 146,000 New Yorkers were employed in the clean energy sector, including 22,000 in renewable energy power generation.
“Investment in clean energy has been a proven catalyst in jump-starting the economy and providing jobs throughout the State,” said Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance. “The significant interest the state is seeing from companies to invest in New York’s clean energy agenda is testament to our resolve to ensure generations to come can enjoy the natural resources which surround us.”
To learn more about the large scale renewable solicitation, visit NYSERDA’s website.