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Cuomo Urged: NY Needs All Its Renewable-Energy Resources

Renewable resources such as hydroelectric now supply 26 percent of New York's energy. (demerzel21/Adobe Stock)
Renewable resources such as hydroelectric now supply 26 percent of New York's energy. (demerzel21/Adobe Stock)
August 1, 2019

ALBANY, N.Y. – To reach clean energy goals, New York needs to maintain its existing baseline of renewable energy generators, according to a message clean energy advocates have sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The New York Renewables Protection Act is headed to the governor's desk.

Supporters say the bill, which already has cleared the Assembly and Senate, would help save the jobs those power resources have created and encourage generators to sell their renewable energy credits in New York rather than out of state.

According to Zack Dufresne, director of membership services at the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACE-New York), it would help the state achieve its goal of 70% renewable energy by 2030 at the lowest possible cost to ratepayers.

"Meeting the 2030 target will require an all-hands-on-deck effort, and that will require a massive buildout of renewables,” he states. “But New York is not starting from scratch on its way to 70%."

Current law doesn't allow existing generators to participate in state renewable energy procurements, leading some suppliers to sell their clean energy to out-of-state customers.

Dufresne says ACE-New York commissioned a study of the policy options to retain existing resources.

"New York could save about $135 million between 2019 and 2030 at present value by establishing a program to keep existing generators in operation and to keep them selling their renewable-energy attributes in New York state," he states.

Dufresne adds that existing renewable energy resources, including hydroelectric power, currently supply more than 25% of the state's electricity and support 22,000 jobs.

Dufresne notes that the state has been talking for several years about creating a program to support existing renewable energy resources but nothing has been established.

"That's why we want to bring attention to this and make sure the governor knows that this is a low cost, low overhead way for his departments to achieve our new, ambitious goals," he stresses.

Once the bill has been sent to the governor's desk, he will have 10 days to sign it.

Disclosure: Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Inc. contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY