New York Offers $150 Million for Renewable Energy Projects

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the state’s Public Service Commission released a solicitation yesterday for projects using wind, hydroelectric, biomass or other clean energy resources to generate power, reports. Awards of up to $150 million in state funding under this solicitation are expected to be announced in mid-December.

Under the RPS program, NYSERDA has previously awarded funding on a competitive basis to 51 large-scale renewable electricity generators that are expected to produce enough electricity to provide 5.3 million megawatt-hours of renewable energy per year. These projects include 3 biomass facilities, 8 landfill biogas operations, 23 hydroelectric upgrades, and 17 wind farms.

New York’s RPS program has been highly successful at attracting investments in clean energy and diversifying the in-state resource mix, the authorities said. Wind capacity in operation is nearly 28 times what existed prior to the RPS Program and, in 2010, New York was ranked first in the Northeast and eighth nationally in installed wind capacity.

“The millions of megawatt-hours generated by renewable resources in New York State will have a substantial impact on reducing the fossil fuels we consume to make electricity. The RPS program allows New York to continue to attract clean-energy investments and create jobs while at the same time improving the environment,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Francis J. Murray Jr.

Garry Brown, Chairman of the PSC said, “The generation of electricity from renewable sources increases energy diversity and promotes a better environment for us all. Developing renewable energy resources, along with our energy efficiency efforts, provides our best hope toward ending dependency on fossil fuels, improving regional economies, and reducing harmful emissions.”

It is estimated that the projects currently in the program will deliver to New York more than $2.1 billion in direct economic benefits over the next 20 years. These benefits will come in the form of long-term and short-term jobs, property tax payments to local towns, schools, and counties, in-state purchases of goods and services, land lease payments to landowners, and various other economic benefits.

This is the second solicitation for large-scale renewable electricity generation issued by NYSERDA since the Commission’s RPS funding decision in April 2010.