Governor Cuomo Announces Details for 21 Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects
To provide clean, affordable energy for New Yorkers
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled the details of the awards for 21 large-scale solar, wind, and energy storage projects in upstate New York, with a total capacity of 1,278 megawatts (MW). These projects will spur over $2.5 billion in investments and create over 2,000 short-term and long-term jobs. The awards accelerate progress towards Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal goal to have 70% of the state’s electricity to be from renewable sources by 2030 and 100% carbon-free by 2040.
“New York continues to be a leader in developing large-scale renewable energy projects in a way that brings significant economic benefits and jobs to the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “With these projects we will build on our aggressive strategy to combat climate change and lay a foundation for a more sustainable future for all New Yorkers.”
Expected to generate over 2.5 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of renewable energy annually, the projects will provide enough electricity for over 350,000 homes and reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.3 million metric tons annually, equivalent to taking nearly 300,000 cars off the road. Awards went to projects that offered bids 23% lower than those received three years ago, highlighting the continuing significant cost declines of renewable energy.
Today’s awards are the third in a series of annual land-based renewable procurements by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). They are expected to enable dozens of large-scale renewable energy projects over the coming decade. In three consecutive years, NYSERDA has awarded over 67 projects since 2018, demonstrating the most significant State commitment to renewables in the nation.
All of the projects are expected to be operational by 2024. NYSERDA payments under these awards will not commence until projects are permitted, locally approved, and in commercial operation. As part of NYSERDA’s solicitation, proposers underwent a rigorous review process to ensure that they have effective community outreach programs and responsible siting practices. NYSERDA will continue to work with developers, State agencies, and stakeholders to ensure that the State can achieve its clean energy goals while protecting important agricultural land and critical environmental resources.
As the state continues progress towards the 2030 renewable energy target, it will emphasize engagement with the communities where projects are being developed. In order to assist communities, NYSERDA will also continue to offer resources and no-cost technical assistance to the state’s cities, towns, and villages.
Among the projects are 17 large-scale solar projects. Four wind projects received awards, including three upgrades to existing projects and one new project. Two solar projects will include energy storage to enhance grid integration, supporting the State’s nation-leading goal to install 3,000 MW of storage by 2030. All 21 projects will be required to commit to ensuring that workers associated with the construction of projects are paid a prevailing wage, as required by the New York State Department of Labor.
The weighted average award price for this solicitation is $18.59 per MWh over the 20-year term of the contracts. It is the lowest average award price resulting from a NYSERDA large-scale renewables solicitation.
The 21 large-scale renewable energy projects (listed by region) are:
Bald Mountain Solar: Boralex will build a 19.99-MW solar facility in Greenwich.
West River Solar: Boralex will build a 19.99-MW solar facility in Moreau.
SunEast Hilltop Solar: SunEast Development will build a 19.99-MW solar facility in Schaghticoke.
Central New York
Garnet Energy Center: NextEra Energy Resources will build a 200-MW solar facility, accompanied by 20 MW of energy storage, in Conquest.
Highview Solar Project: SunEast Development will build a 20-MW solar facility in Castile.
SunEast Flat Hill Solar: SunEast Development will build a 19.99-MW solar facility in Manheim.
SunEast Grassy Knoll Solar: SunEast Development will build a 19.99-MW solar facility in Manheim.
SunEast Limestone Solar: SunEast Development will build a 19.99-MW solar facility in Perth.
SunEast Tabletop Solar: SunEast Development will build an 80-MW solar facility in Palatine.
ELP Ticonderoga Solar: East Light Partners will build a 19.99-MW solar facility in Ticonderoga.
North Side Energy Center: NextEra Energy Resources will build a 180-MW solar facility in Brasher, Massena, and Norfolk.
Sandy Creek Solar: Boralex will build a 19.99-MW solar facility in Adams and Ellisburg.
Greens Corners Solar: Boralex will build a 120-MW solar facility in Hounsfield and Watertown.
SunEast Fairway Solar: SunEast Development will build a 19.99-MW solar facility in Oswegatchie.
Cohocton Wind Project: TerraForm Power will repower an existing wind farm, leading to an increase in new renewable capacity of 35.8 MW in Cohocton.
Prattsburgh Wind Farm: Terra-Gen will build a 145-MW wind farm in Avoca, Cohocton, Prattsburgh, and Wheeler.
SunEast Valley Solar: SunEast Development will build a 19.99-MW solar facility in Owego.
Western New York
Martin Rd Solar: Empire Renewables, LLC will build a 19.99-MW solar facility in Machias and Yorkshire.
South Ripley Solar and Storage: ConnectGen will build a 270-MW solar facility, accompanied by 20 MW of energy storage, in Ripley.
Steel Winds Wind Farm: TerraForm Power will repower an existing wind farm, leading to an increase in new renewable capacity of 4.8 MW in Lackawanna.
Steel Winds Wind Farm 2: TerraForm Power will repower an existing wind farm, leading to an increase in new renewable capacity of 2.6 MW in Lackawanna and Hamburg.
NYSERDA will issue the next solicitation for large-scale renewable energy under the Clean Energy Standard by Earth Day, 2020. Maintaining a predictable pace of annual solicitations for renewable energy will support continued development and investment interest in New York State.
In February, Governor Cuomo proposed the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act (the Act) to greatly speed up permitting and construction for renewable energy project. Under the Act, a new Office of Renewable Energy Permitting will be created to improve and streamline the process for environmentally responsible and cost-effective siting of large-scale renewable energy projects in New York. Additionally, the Act would also create NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Resources Development and Incentives Program to rapidly advance development brownfields, landfills, former industrial sites, and abandoned or underutilized sites. NYSERDA, in consultation with the Empire State Development Corporation and other agencies, will immediately begin pursuing site control and pre-construction development activities for potential new renewable energy projects. Once sites are fully permitted and developed, NYSERDA will competitively auction the developed sites, bundled with contracts for renewable energy payments, for private developers to construct and operate projects. Under the Act, renewable energy project applications will be acted upon within one year, with certain exceptions.