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NY State Taking Bids for Big Increase in Renewable Energy

The RFPs will bring an additional 2.5 million megawatt-hours of renewable energy per year. (John S. Quarterman/Flickr)
The RFPs will bring an additional 2.5 million megawatt-hours of renewable energy per year. (John S. Quarterman/Flickr)
June 9, 2017

NEW YORK – New York State will be purchasing a record amount of renewable energy to help reach the state's clean energy standard goals.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the New York Power Authority have announced plans to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates for a combined total of 2.5 million megawatt-hours per year of renewable power generation.

Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, calls it a major milestone in the drive to get 50 percent of the state's electric power from renewables by 2030.

"It is the biggest solicitation for renewable energy in New York's history - as far as I know, the biggest one in the country - and it's really a significant down payment on getting to 50 percent," she says.

The announcement followed Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order issued last week, committing the state to upholding the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Seth Kaplan is a senior government and regulatory affairs manager with EDP Renewables, an international developer of renewable-energy projects including the Jericho Rise Wind Farm in New York. He says state investment is vital to getting major projects off the ground.

"Past procurements have been critical in getting new projects like the Jericho Rise Wind Farm built," he said. "And the continuation of these procurements is one of the important tools in the state meeting its clean-energy goals."

Jericho Rise has 37 wind turbines, sending almost 78 megawatts of power to the state's electrical grid.

Reynolds adds that clean-energy advocates were encouraged when the governor first announced the 50-percent-renewable goal by 2030, but the commitment to purchase that energy makes it real.

"Now the contracts are a possibility for these companies; they can compete for the contracts to bid in the lowest cost and they can really start to get things built," she explains.

Reynolds estimates the purchases could lead to the development of between 600 and 1,600 megawatts of new clean-energy generation capacity.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY