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New York is Setting the Example on Climate

Kathy Hochul gives State of State address (Darren McGee, Office of Governor Kathy Hochul, via Flickr)

George Harvey

On January 5, New York Governor Kathy Hochul gave her first State of the State address. In it, she outlined a plan for a “New Era for New York.” The speech covered a wide array of topics, including the state’s response to Covid-19 and a large number of programs set up to bring the state back to normal function. Her remarks can be read online at https://on.ny.gov/3rtr7HM, and the speech can be watched at C-SPAN at www.bit.ly/NY-State-of-State-2022.

She said a lot about energy and climate change, and she outlined a large number of things she planned for the State of New York to do about them. Her message was put out in a more condensed form in an email, which Green Energy Times has put online at www.bit.ly/GET-NYS-email. Here, are things we at Green Energy Times find most interesting among Gov. Hochul’s many proposals:

Offshore Wind: New York State will put $500 million into infrastructure to support the effort to install offshore wind farms. The goal is to install six gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power by 2030. Transmission will go directly to New York City. Building on the success of New York’s award-winning Offshore Wind Master Plan, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will initiate a new master plan to unlock the next frontier of offshore wind development.

Energy Storage: The state will also get 6 GW of energy storage by 2030. This storage capacity will be spread throughout the state. The deployment will be “backed by needed market reforms and cost-effective procurement mechanisms to capture the full benefits of energy storage.”

Green Hydrogen: With the federal government possibly putting up $10 billion for green hydrogen projects, New York will act to leverage some of that funding. Among the areas of development, two in particular stand out. One is development of microgrids based on renewable energy and green hydrogen. The other is district heating and cooling. Also, New York will develop a regulatory framework for green hydrogen.

Fossil Fuel Plant Phase-Out: New York will repurpose or close its oldest and most polluting fossil fuel power plants by 2030. Energy storage will be used in conjunction with the closures to enhance system reliability. NYSERDA, the Department of Public Service, and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will also develop a blueprint to guide the retirement and redevelopment of New York’s oldest and most-polluting fossil fuel facilities and their sites by 2030.

Clean Buildings: The state will require all new construction have no greenhouse gas emissions by 2027. Also, the current rate of electrification of about 20,000 homes per year will be increased more than tenfold by the end of the decade. New York State will have two million climate friendly homes by 2030.

Clean Green Schools: The state will launch an expansion of the Clean Green Schools proposal through a proposal to inject new Environmental Bond Act funding to over 1,000 public schools located in disadvantaged communities. This will bring benefits through geothermal heating and cooling, solar power, green roofs, indoor air quality and ventilation, electric school bus charging, and more, creating thousands of high-quality green jobs. The governor makes clear that the state will seek to have all new school buses purchased be zero-emissions vehicles by 2027, and all school buses used have zero-emissions by 2035.

School bus converted to electric. (Unique Electric Systems)

Electric Vehicles: The state of New York will invest over $1 billion to support EV adoption and infrastructure. It will also expand the electric vehicle light-duty fleet to 100%. All such vehicles purchased from 2027 on will be electric, and all of them in use will be electric from 2035 on.

Hunts Point Decarbonization: The Hunts Point Food Market in the Bronx is the largest food distribution center in the U.S. Over 15,000 diesel trucks enter the facility every day. NYSERDA and the New York Power Authority will lead an effort to develop solutions to “transform Hunts Point Food Market into a Clean Distribution Hub that is quieter, cleaner, and healthier for the entire community.”

Extreme Heat Action Plan: NYSERDA will work with the DEC to develop “an Extreme Heat Action Plan to address heat in disadvantaged communities, areas of employment, and recreational zones across the state.”

Some of the Other Proposals:

  • Sustainable Finance: achieve net-zero in state investment portfolios by 2040, prioritizing green bonds, and encouraging contractor climate risk disclosure.
  • Sustainable Procurement: Strengthen green procurement standards for state agencies – issuing a new executive order on green procurement in state government to align with strong climate commitments.
  • Battery Research: Create a world-class battery research and manufacturing center at Binghamton University, establishing BATTERY-NY, a technology development and manufacturing center hosted by Binghamton University and led by Professor Stan Whittingham and NY-BEST.

We should make clear that not all funding for these proposals will come from the state. New York will leverage funding from other sources, such as private investment and the federal government.

We at Green Energy Times applaud Governor Hochul for her leadership and her team in the state government for its hard work. We hope this effort will prove to be an example for all states.

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