New York public authorities and agencies have passed legislation as part of the FY 2020-2021 state budget to speed up the siting and construction of clean energy projects to combat climate change and help the state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 health crisis.
The Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act will create a first in the nation Office of Renewable Energy Siting to improve and streamline the process for environmentally responsible and cost-effective siting of large-scale renewable energy projects across New York while delivering significant benefits to local communities.
The act, which will be implemented by the New York State Department of State, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Department of Public Service, Department of Environmental Conservation, New York Power Authority and the Empire State Development Corp., will accelerate progress towards Governor Cuomo’s clean energy and climate goals – including the mandate to obtain 70% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources.
“While Governor Cuomo and New York work tirelessly to defeat COVID-19, we must continue to move forward and confront our climate crisis in order to protect New Yorkers from the dangerous consequences of a changing climate,” says Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA.
“This new law will support a rapid transition to clean renewable energy sources and ensure that our enormous pipeline of large-scale renewable energy projects can be responsibly permitted, bolster the state’s economy and deliver health, environmental and economic benefits to all New Yorkers,” she adds.
This legislation developed and passed with significant stakeholder and community advocate support underscores the state’s commitment to efficiently develop renewable energy. By creating a new siting process specifically designed for renewable energy facilities, the act will accelerate new private investment and job growth in the green economy at a time New Yorkers need it most.
New York’s existing energy generation siting process was designed for siting fossil-fuel electric generating plants and was established prior to the adoption of New York’s clean energy and environmental mandates under its new climate law. As the state seeks solutions to getting the economy back on track after overcoming the COVID-19 crisis, restarting renewable energy construction will play a central role in the green economy.
The new siting process will establish uniform environmental standards and conditions that will support expedited project development, bringing new jobs while combating climate change.
For more information about New York’s Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act, click here.
Photo: New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo