Clean, renewable energy mandates dominated New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2019 “State of the State” address released on January 14, 2019.
As part of the national “Green New Deal” movement, Cuomo promised to boost New York’s Clean Energy Standard from 50% to 70% renewable electricity by 2030, and committed to 100% “clean, carbon-free” electricity by 2040. To meet this mandate, Cuomo calls for:
- Quadrupling last year’s offshore wind target from 2,400 megawatts by 2030 to 9,000 megawatts by 2035
- Doubling distributed solar deployment to 6,000 megawatts by 2025, up from 3,000 megawatts by 2023
- The creation of a “Climate Action Council” to address ways to achieve a carbon neutral economy
- More than doubling available subsidies under the Clean Energy Standard for new renewables
- Deploying 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030
- Allocating $3 billion for renewable energy and clean transportation efforts for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure
Cuomo also announced $1.5 billion in funding to support 20 large-scale solar, wind and energy storage projects across New York, sited in the Capital Region, North Country, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Western New York. The funding will be awarded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in the form of renewable energy credits. It is expected that the four wind projects and sixteen solar projects will generate about 3.8 million megawatt hours of electricity annually—enough to power nearly 550,000 homes.
To support offshore wind efforts, Cuomo asked for another $200 million to invest in port infrastructure and investments and backed the development of an offshore transmission grid to make delivery more efficient.
Further, to speed up the slow processing time at the New York Department of Public Service (DPS), Cuomo allocated $1.7 million to hire eight new siting staff members.
Cuomo’s proposed budget is ambitious and still needs to be passed by the state legislature; but with a Democratic controlled state Assembly and Senate, the future for renewable energy is bright.