Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Friday, January 8, 2010

NYS announces nearly $300 million for renewable energy projects

Funding Will Increase New York's Use of Hydroelectric, Wind, and Biomass Energy

Governor David A. Paterson today announced that the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), in conjunction with the Public Service Commission (PSC), will provide nearly $300 million for renewable energy projects under the Renewable Portfolio Standard Program (RPS), which will help accelerate the development of New York’s clean energy economy. With these awards, New York continues to invest in clean energy to achieve Governor Paterson’s goal of meeting 45 percent of the State’s energy needs through energy efficiency and renewable energy by 2015.

“Investments in clean, renewable energy will form the foundation for New York’s clean energy economy by creating jobs and helping control energy costs for New Yorkers,” Governor Paterson said. “As I laid out in my State of the State address, we will transform New York's economy by investing in the technology of the 21st century. Improving our economy and our environment through strategic investments in clean energy industries which will sustain New York in the future.”

Included in these renewable energy developments are $96 million awarded today from the most recent competitive solicitation to five large-scale electric generating projects. These funds will support wind power initiatives at the Hardscrabble wind project in Herkimer County, and the Beekmantown wind project in Clinton County. Funds have also been allocated for hydroelectric upgrades to the School Street and Stewarts Bridge power projects in Albany and Saratoga Counties, and new initiatives at the Onondaga Renewables biomass plant in Onondaga County.

The projects supported by today’s $96 million award will add more than 142 megawatts of renewable capacity and produce nearly 578,656 megawatt hours per year of clean renewable energy, enough clean energy to supply approximately 85,000 homes. Project developers estimate that these projects will also provide more than $91 million of in-State benefits over the next three years through new jobs, increased property tax revenues, royalty payments to landowners, and other economic activity.

NYSERDA President and CEO Francis J. Murray, Jr. said: “New York’s successful RPS program has been instrumental in attracting private investment in renewable energy and supporting Governor David Paterson’s aggressive clean energy agenda. The Public Service Commission’s continued and ongoing commitment to increasing New York’s use of renewable energy will help create jobs, improve our environment, and strengthen our energy security.”

PSC Chairman Garry Brown said: “The RPS program is a key element of Governor Paterson’s strategy for obtaining a more diversified energy portfolio. This important initiative not only helps reduce emissions of global warming gases, it does so at a minimal cost to the State’s ratepayers. The much-needed development and expansion of our renewable energy resources will help New York take greater control of its energy future.”

In December, the PSC, acting on a goal set by Governor Paterson, expanded the RPS goal to increase the proportion of renewable electricity used by New Yorkers from 25 percent to 30 percent by 2015. The PSC also authorized an approximately $200 million new Main-Tier solicitation for large-scale electric generating projects to commence as soon as practicable. These actions, which reflect a continued commitment to support the development of various renewable energy technologies, will help achieve Governor Paterson’s ‘45 by 15’ clean energy goal. Under the Governor’s ‘45 by 15’ goal, in addition to obtaining 30 percent of our energy through renewable technologies, another 15 percent will be obtained through energy efficiency measures.

New York is nationally recognized for its investments in clean renewable energy technologies. Including projects from this latest solicitation, 33 renewable projects have been selected under the RPS program representing more than 1,300 megawatts of renewable capacity. Of the 33 projects selected to date, 27 have successfully entered operation, one facility is under construction, and the five are under development. These include 13 wind farms, 17 hydroelectric plant upgrades, two power plants displacing coal with biomass, and one power plant that will use 100 percent clean renewable biomass.