NYSERDA Announces Details for $1.5 Billion for 20 Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects to Combat Climate Change and Grow New York's Clean Energy Economy
Announced in Governor Cuomo’s 2019 State of the State Address
January 18, 2019
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today unveiled the details of the $1.5 billion in competitive awards, first announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo as part of his 2019 State of the State address, to support 20 large-scale solar, wind energy and storage projects across New York. The projects will generate $4 billion in direct investment in the clean energy sector and will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This funding will expand the use of clean, affordable energy across the state to power nearly 550,000 homes and create over 2,600 short- and long-term jobs. Combined with the renewable energy projects previously announced under Governor Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard, New York has now awarded 46 projects worth more than $2.9 billion, accelerating New York’s progress to meet the state’s unprecedented renewable energy goals within Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal as also announced today. The awards also propel New York toward the Governor’s ramped up mandate for 70 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 -- up from 50 percent -- and helps guide the state toward achieving carbon neutrality across all sectors of its economy as soon as possible including a 100 percent carbon-free electricity sector by 2040.
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “The results of these solicitations are making clear that Governor Cuomo’s bold vision of a clean energy future for New York is coming to fruition far faster, and at lower cost, than anyone predicted. NYSERDA has carefully structured the solicitations to put community engagement and responsible siting considerations front and center, ensuring that these projects will be an enormous success story not only for our environment, but also for local communities, the State’s economy, and for New York workers.”
The awards are the second in a series of annual NYSERDA procurements to develop dozens of large-scale renewable energy projects under the Clean Energy Standard by 2030. These projects and the 26 projects awarded in the first solicitation account for 20 percent more new renewable capacity than was awarded under the decade-long Renewable Portfolio Standard, the predecessor to Governor Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard.
As a signal of the continued affordability and accessibility of clean energy, the awarded projects offered bids 14 percent lower in price than large-scale renewable project bids received just one year ago, and 23 percent lower than the bids received two years ago. These awards represent considerable value for New Yorker’s public dollars and as costs continue to significantly decline, it is expected that clean and renewable resources will meet more of our energy needs affordably, efficiently and reliably.This increase in awarded capacity over a short period of time is indicative of the State’s significant acceleration toward the goals under Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal to reach a proposed 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030, make New York's electricity 100 percent carbon-free by 2040 and ultimately eliminate the state’s entire carbon footprint.
The competitively selected projects include 16 large-scale solar projects, which reaffirms New York as a national leader for solar development, as well as four utility-scale wind projects. One of the solar projects and two wind projects will also include energy storage components. Several projects will break ground as early as August 2019 and all projects are expected to be operational by 2022, adding over 1,654 megawatts of renewable capacity in New York and generating over 3,800,000 megawatt hours of energy annually.The projects are expected to generate enough clean, renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions by more than 2 million metric tons, the equivalent to taking nearly 437,000 cars off the road.
NYSERDA recognizes that active community engagement and on-the-ground support is crucial for the successful development of renewable energy projects throughout the state. Therefore, proposers were required to demonstrate that they are actively engaging with host communities and have commenced the associated permitting processes as, for some projects, NYSERDA’s execution of final contracts may be contingent on certain siting requirements being met, and payments are contingent on the awarded projects obtaining all necessary approvals, being fully constructed, and commencing commercial operation.
Additionally, NYSERDA has contacted all host communities and conducted in-person meetings with a majority of the host communities for the awarded projects to ensure they are both aware and engaged in the planning process and cognizant of the services the state can offer to assist them as project development progresses. NYSERDA and other state and local agencies will work closely with the communities and developers to ensure all projects continue to be responsibly sited and developed.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Governor Cuomo recognizes the urgency of addressing climate change, and that’s why he is advancing the Green New Deal to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040 and the most comprehensive clean energy agenda in the nation. New York’s strategic investments in large-scale solar and wind are critical components of the Governor’s plan to modernize infrastructure and incentivize cutting-edge advances that will bolster the capacity of clean renewable energy technology. It’s a smart plan anchored by sound science and rooted in sustainability that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support New York’s growing green economy, and protect our environment for future generations.”
The rigorous review process also included scoring for the developer’s commitment to avoid lands of agricultural importance in their project layout. Additionally, NYSERDA and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets are partnering together to ensure that these and future projects are developed in a manner consistent with New York agricultural standards.
Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “We are pleased to see these renewable energy projects move forward, helping New York to remain at the forefront in the development of clean energy while ensuring our farmland is protected for future generations. We look forward to continuing to partner with NYSERDA on growing our state’s renewable energy commitments in a way that allows us to preserve and support New York agriculture.”
These projects advance the Clean Climate Careers initiative announced by Governor Cuomo in June 2017. The awards require that workers associated with the construction of these projects be paid the applicable prevailing wage, ensuring that the projects will result in quality, good-paying jobs for New Yorkers. During the competitive selection process, bonus points were awarded to renewable energy projects that demonstrated a commitment to the creation of local jobs and use of locally-manufactured components and other content.
NYS Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “Here in New York, labor is not a commodity and it says so right in our state constitution. We’re not a state that funds a new project by taking money away from the workers making it happen. The prevailing wage ensured by these projects will help provide good careers with family-sustaining wages and benefits.”
This nation-leading investment in large scale renewable energy projects exceeds last year’s award volume and at a lower unit cost to ratepayers. The weighted average award price for this solicitation is $18.77 per megawatt hour of production over the 20-year term of the awarded contracts, a 14 percent decrease from the first annual solicitation under the Clean Energy Standard.
The 20 large-scale renewable energy projects (by region) are:
Hannacroix Solar Facility, Greene County: Teichos Energy will build a 4.99 megawatt solar facility in the town of New Baltimore.
Stillwater Solar, Saratoga County: ELP Stillwater Solar LLC will build a 19.99 megawatt solar facility in the town of Stillwater.
Central New York
Clay Solar, Onondaga County: SunEast Development will build a 19.99 megawatt solar facility in the town of Clay.
Dog Corners Solar, Cayuga County: SunEast Development will build a 19.99 megawatt solar facility in the town of Ledyard.
Excelsior Energy Center, Genesee County: NextEra Energy Resources will build a 280 megawatt solar facility, accompanied by 20 megawatts of energy storage, in the town of Byron.
Heritage Wind, Orleans County: Apex Clean Energy will build a 147 megawatt wind farm in the town of Barre.
Horseshoe Solar, Livingston County: Invenergy will build a 180 megawatt solar facility in the town of Caledonia.
Manchester Solar, Ontario County: Gardner Capital will build a 19.99 megawatt solar facility in the town of Manchester.
Morris Ridge Solar, Livingston County: EDF Renewables will build a 170 megawatt solar facility in the town of Mount Morris.
North Light Energy Center, Seneca County: NextEra Energy Resources will build an 80 megawatt solar facility in the town of Waterloo.
Silver Lake Solar, Wyoming County: Geronimo Energy will build a 24.99 megawatt solar facility in the town of Castile.
Hills Solar, Herkimer County: SunEast Development will build a 19.99 megawatt solar facility in the town of Manheim.
Mohawk Solar, Montgomery County: Avangrid Renewables will build a 90.5 megawatt solar facility in the town of Canajoharie.
Skyline Solar, Oneida County: SunEast Development will build a 19.99 megawatt solar facility in the town of Westmoreland.
Watkins Road Solar I, Herkimer County: SunEast Development will build a 19.99 megawatt solar facility in the towns of Schuyler and Herkimer.
Roaring Brook Wind, Lewis County: Avangrid Renewables will build a 77.7 megawatt wind farm in the town of Martinsburg.
Canisteo Wind, Steuben County: Invenergy will build a 290 megawatt wind farm, accompanied by 20 megawatts of energy storage, in the towns of Cameron, Canisteo, Greenwood, Jasper, Troupsburg, and West Union.
High Bridge Wind, Chenango County: Calpine Corporation will build a 99 megawatt wind farm, accompanied by 5 megawatts of energy storage, in the town of Guilford.
Watkins Glen Solar Energy Center, Schuyler County: NextEra Energy Resources will build a 50 megawatt solar facility in the town of Dix.
Western New York
Bakerstand Solar I, Cattaraugus County: Olivewood Energy Development will build a 19.99 megawatt solar facility in the town of Franklinville.
Building on the momentum of these project awards, NYSERDA will issue the next solicitation for large-scale renewable energy under the Clean Energy Standard on April 22, 2019. Maintaining a predictable pace of annual solicitations for renewable energy will support continued development and investment interest in New York State, and build on New York’s status as a leading market for renewable energy development in the U.S.