On Earth Day 2021 (April 22), Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that over 20 large-scale renewable energy projects will commence construction across the state of New York in 2021. Cumulatively, these projects will create over 2,000 jobs and attract almost $1.5 billion in private investments which will help to drive NY’s economic recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. This announcement marked another major step toward achieving the goals mandated by New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The goals outlined in the CLCPA include:
85% Reduction in GHG Emissions by 2050
100% Zero-Emission Electricity by 2040
70% Renewable Energy by 2030
9,000 MW of Offshore Wind by 2035
3,000 MW of Energy Storage by 2030
6,000 MW of Solar by 2025
22 Million Tons of Carbon Reduction through Energy Efficiency & Electrification
Alongside Governor Cuomo’s announcement regarding the construction of large-scale renewable energy projects, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) also launched NY’s 5th annual solicitation for large-scale renewable energy projects. This year’s solicitation from NYSERDA was the state’s largest to date, calling for 4.5 million MWh (megawatt hours) of renewable electricity per year—that’s enough to power roughly 600,000 homes.
Projects eligible include those certified as Tier 1 renewables which enter commercial operation after January 1, 2015, and before November 30, 2023—with an option for extensions through November 30, 2026. Further details of Tier 1 eligibility are available here on the NYSERDA website, and NYSERDA anticipates that it will notify awarded developers later this year.
In addition to maintaining existing protections for NYS priorities, this new solicitation introduces a number of components in alignment with CLCPA targets. Key aspects of the solicitation, known as RESRFP21-1, include:
Workers associated with the construction of any awarded projects must be paid the applicable prevailing wage.
Workforce development commitments and partnerships with labor/trade organizations are strongly encouraged, as is support for the adoption of project labor agreements and labor peace agreements.
The preservation and protection of New York’s agricultural and environmental resources are to be prioritized by requiring developers to avoid construction on high-quality agricultural lands, or commit to mitigation measures, or fund support for regional agricultural operations.
Near-term economic activity for communities hosting projects is encouraged through the incentivization of economic benefits which can begin immediately, and by allowing developers to commit to economic developments/projects as part of their bid.
Communities that are set to host awarded projects must be fully involved in the development process, and those proposing the projects must demonstrate a commitment to frequent and active engagement with the community in question.
All major renewable energy facilities must fund an annual bill credit for each of the first ten years of operation to benefit residential utility customers in the host community/communities.
Proposals that cost-effectively pair renewable energy with energy storage technologies are encouraged— this includes preferential evaluation for storage facilities located in regions primarily served by fossil fuels, in order to combat the impact of pollution which often disproportionately affects disadvantaged communities.
Ultimately, this new solicitation will continue to harness the inherent potential for economic growth and job creation within the renewable energy sector by specifically targeting benefits for disadvantaged communities within CLCPA goals.
Implementation of RESRFP21-1 will proceed via the following two-step process:
An eligibility application, due by June 30, 2021.
A competitive bid proposal, under which eligible proposals will be evaluated, due by August 26, 2021.
If you want to go solar in New York then reach out to YSG Solar today by sending an email or calling at 212.389.9215. Whether it’s residential, commercial, or community solar, YSG will steer you in the right direction. If you’re a property owner in the state, YSG is also seeking land for solar farm development in the following NY counties:
YSG Solar is a project development company responsible for commoditizing energy infrastructure projects. We work with long-term owners and operators to provide clean energy assets with stable, predictable cash flows. YSG's market focus is distributed generation and utility-scale projects located within North America.