The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) finalized contracts for the construction of its Clean Path NY (CPNY) and Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) projects that will greatly alter the state’s energy mix.
If approved, the CPNY and CHPE projects will add to New York’s existing pipeline of large-scale renewable energy projects, comprised of nearly 100 solar and both onshore and offshore wind projects totaling 11,000 MW of clean power — enough to power over 5 million New York homes when completed. This pipeline of renewable projects will generate more than 60% of New York’s electricity once operational.
The state’s first-of-its-kind renewable energy and transmission projects are expected to drastically reduce greenhouse gases and improve air quality and generate $8.2 billion in economic development across the state, including investments in disadvantaged communities. As the largest transmission projects contracted for New York State in the last 50 years, these projects will reduce the city’s fossil fuel use for electricity by more than 80% in 2030 when combined with the state’s deployment of clean energy and offshore wind.
The is development puts New York on track for its goal of producing 70% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
“The stakes have never been higher for New York as we confront the effects of climate change and the economic and environmental destruction that extreme weather events leave behind,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “This announcement not only accelerates our pace to achieving the goal for having 70% of New York State’s energy to come from renewable resources, we’re also creating sustainable jobs, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and paving the way for cleaner air and a healthier future for all New Yorkers.”
NYSERDA will also offer renewable energy subscriptions giving New York City organizations the opportunity to switch to clean energy.
In January, NYSERDA issued a renewable energy solicitation seeking projects that could cost-effectively and responsibly deliver renewable energy to New York City, an area of the state that relies on aging fossil fuel-fired generation. If approved by the Public Service Commission, the selected projects are expected to deliver 18 million MWh of clean energy per year, or more than a third of New York City’s annual electric consumption from a portfolio including onshore wind, solar and hydroelectric power with backup energy storage sourced from upstate New York and Quebec.
“If the largest city in the nation can rely on clean energy for power, any place can,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “New York is proving it’s possible to combat global warming and fight for climate justice by investing in water, wind and solar energy. This is how we reduce fossil fuels, create thousands of union jobs, and build a sustainable future for all New Yorkers. It’s a historic day for our city and state.”
Contracts were submitted to the PSC for approval, and are subject to a public comment period that will run through February 7, 2022. The petition and contracts are available on the Department of Public Service’s website under Case Number 15-E-0302, where comments can be submitted.
The projects will create approximately 10,000 full-time jobs statewide with guaranteed prevailing wages and project labor agreements. Two community projects will invest a combined $460 million for benefit funds to create pathways to green energy jobs, support public health, advance capital improvement projects and restore habitat and improve environmental footprints of buildings in disadvantaged communities.
The program will procure renewable energy and create new energy transmission in the state. It has been set up with an index REC structure to help cushion customers against spikes in energy prices. This means laying new underground transmission lines with consideration for minimizing environmental damage.
“These massive green energy infrastructure projects, which will generate enough clean electricity to power millions of homes, will deliver tremendous economic benefits and thousands of new jobs statewide while reducing pollution and improving air quality in our most historically vulnerable communities,” said Doreen M. Harris, NYSERDA president and CEO.
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