New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) have released a long-anticipated call for renewable energy as part of the state's efforts to meet its 30% by 2015 renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The $250 million solicitation, administered by NYSERDA, seeks electric generation projects that use wind, solar, hydroelectric, biomass and other clean energy resources. According to NYSERDA, the funding is a critical component of the governor's ‘Energy Highway Blueprint‘ that will upgrade and modernize New York's aging energy infrastructure.Â
The RPS funding will be awarded competitively, with recipients expected to be announced by summer 2013.
Some say the lag between New York's last call for power, which was issued in December 2011, has hindered wind energy development. The previous solicitation, which was for $132 million, resulted in contracts for seven new or upgraded wind power facilities.
Despite the delay, the latest solicitation signifies another step by New York toward achieving the ambitious goals of its RPS, according to Patrick Doyle, a veteran New York wind energy developer.
‘NYSERDA should be commended for their ongoing efforts to overcome market uncertainties, such as those caused by expiring federal renewable energy incentives," Doyle tells NAW. "Through ongoing innovation and leadership by NYSERDA and the [Public Service Commission], New York state can continue to reap a harvest of clean, renewable, homemade electricity. This commitment to the future of renewable energy generated in the state reflects the economic and environmental gains achieved thus far under the RPS and is consistent with the objectives identified in Governor Cuomo's Energy Highway Blueprint.’
‘I am hopeful that in the forthcoming state energy plan discussions and the upcoming review of the RPS, New York state will continue to encourage renewable energy construction by incorporating best practices from other renewable energy programs – such as long-term contracts for bundled energy – to attract investors, further reduce uncertainty and lower electricity production costs.’
Under New York's RPS program, NYSERDA has current Main Tier contracts with 54 large-scale renewable electricity generators, and the projects include 17 wind farms. Over the next 20 years, the direct benefits from the projects currently within the RPS program are expected to approach $2.4 billion, and the effects on the broader economy are estimated at more than $4.9 billion, according to NYSERDA.
More information about New York's RPS program can be found here.