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Cuomo Commits to More Offshore Wind

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state's Green Energy Program will create more than 50,000 jobs. (Photo: Gov. Andrew Cuomo)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state's Green Energy Program will create more than 50,000 jobs. (Photo: Gov. Andrew Cuomo)
January 14, 2021

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Governor Andrew Cuomo used his third installment of the State of the State address Wednesday to take on meeting the challenges of climate change.

Calling green energy "a prime economic opportunity and a pressing moral imperative," Cuomo announced the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will contract for two new offshore wind projects generating 2,500 megawatts of clean electric power, the largest offshore wind project in the country.

Joe Martens, director of the New York Offshore Wind Alliance, called it a quantum leap forward toward meeting the goal of 9,000 megawatts by 2035 as mandated by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act the governor signed in July 2019.

"Here we are less than two years out and the state has contracted for almost half of that," Martens confirmed.

The governor also announced contracts for 24 new solar projects that will generate a total of about 2,200 megawatts of power.

As in every other state, the COVID pandemic has led to huge economic losses and unemployment in New York.

Martens noted Cuomo's plans will use addressing the looming climate crisis as a way to help get the economy back on track.

"These projects represent high-paying jobs, they represent billions of dollars in investment, and it is exactly the right way to get the economy restarted," Martens contended.

The offshore wind proposals also call for new investments in worker training, transmission infrastructure and port facilities.

Martens added the plan includes onshore facilities for job training, manufacturing and assembly that will bring economic opportunities and equity to areas that need them the most.

"The projects are in disadvantaged communities where there are environmental-justice issues," Martens explained. "And this is a great opportunity for that community to get involved in a project that will put that community to work."

He believes actual construction of the offshore wind projects could begin around the middle of this decade.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY