Last week New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that the state would invest $1.4 billion into 26 large-scale renewable energy projects, 22 of which are solar projects. At the same time he announced that the state requested an requested an exclusion from offshore oil drilling while supporting offshore wind power. The projects are expected to add 1.4 gigawatts of renewable energy to the grid, generate more than 3,000 jobs and $3 billion in overall investments.
"Governor Cuomo is demonstrating outstanding leadership in helping to solve the climate crisis and building a sustainable future," former Vice President Al Gore said at at the unveiling of the plan at New York University. "His vision and leadership stand in stark contrast to the Trump administration's malignant mission to make us even more dependent on the dirty and destructive fossil fuels. Now more than ever, it's up to all of us to step up and act on this urgent cause of our time. Governor Cuomo is showing how it can be done.”
Cuomo explained the state’s choice to support and pursue the renewable energy projects., which were vetted under a competitive process. "Instead of protecting our waters from another oil spill, like the one that devastated the Gulf, this new federal plan only increases the chances of another disaster taking place," Governor Cuomo said. "This is a total disregard for science, reality, and history, and their actions defy everything we know. We believe the future is a clean energy economy and New York is going to lead a counter-movement to what this administration is doing to the environment and illuminate the path forward."
Cuomo’s office called it the largest single state commitment to renewable energy. In addition to the 22 solar farms, the funds will support and spur investment in three wind projects and one hydroelectric project. For the first time in the state, one of the wind farms will include energy storage component. All projects are slated to be operational by with several of them breaking ground next month. The projects came in with weighted average award prices of $21.71 per megawatt hours, 11 percent less than two years ago.
“These 22 solar projects will create thousands of jobs, generate billions of dollars in investment and bring clean and affordable energy to the residents of New York state,” said Solar Energy Industries Association CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “It is highly rewarding to see that the Empire State has made this groundbreaking investment in solar energy and we look forward to delivering on the promise that solar energy offers to New Yorkers.”
Cuomo’s office explained the importance of maintaining the state’s strong, $23 billion ocean economy both through industry and tourism, making it the third largest such in the nation. It also observed that 60 percent of the state’s population lives along nearly 2,000 miles of tidal coastline, which could be impacted by the offshore drilling plans supported by Trump.Tweet