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On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Cuomo Pledges Big Gains for Renewable Energy

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Friday, January 5, 2018   

NEW YORK – Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for big advances in renewable energy in New York. In his State of the State address on Wednesday, Cuomo laid the groundwork for major investments in energy efficiency, energy storage and community solar.

And, according to Joe Martens, director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance, that also includes a commitment to solicit bids for 800 megawatts of offshore wind power in both 2018 and 2019 - enough to power 400,000 homes.

"That is big, because the offshore wind industry is in its infancy in the United States," he explains. "There's only one small wind farm off of Block Island, and this will really give a kick-start to the industry."

The governor also proposed strengthening the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to cover smaller electric-generating facilities and closing all coal-fired power plants in the state.

Martens says the governor's commitment to deploy 1,500 megawatts of energy storage capacity by 2025 is another big step forward. As everyone knows, there are times when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine.

"Having the ability to call on storage facilities to provide power when renewables are not generating energy is a critical component to this transformation to more and more renewables," he adds.

New York's Clean Energy Standard calls for getting 50 percent of the state's electricity from renewable sources by the year 2030.

The governor also said the state will work to make sure that everyone can benefit from the advantages of renewable energy. As Martens notes, the initial investment for localized infrastructure can be a barrier to participation.

"It's a very solid commitment to provide community solar for 10,000 low-income New Yorkers, and I think the environmental justice community has been extremely happy with this announcement," he says.

Cuomo has also issued a directive for the state to establish new energy-efficiency targets by this year's Earth Day, in April.


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