New York governor’s Green New Deal starts with 1 GW of large-scale solar

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From pv magazine USA.

With disgruntled civic leaders and NGOs from the U.S. making their presence felt at last month’s COP24 climate change convention in Katowice with a We Are Still In booth, New York governor Andrew Cuomo has illustrated just how effective state administrations can be when bypassing the White House.

Only days after unveiling his “Justice Agenda”, wherein the governor issued a call to raise the state’s renewable energy mandate from 50% to 70% of power generation by 2030 – and generate carbon-free electricity by 2040 – the New York Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced 20 solar, wind and battery storage projects totaling 1,654 MW of capacity.

The projects include 1,040 MW of solar in 16 projects across the state. The largest three will be built by big national developers, namely NextEra, Invenergy and EDF Renewables. The full list by capacity:

  • Excelsior Energy Center: Genessee County, 280 MW of solar plus 20 MW of energy storage
  • Horseshoe Solar: Livingston County, 180 MW
  • Morris Ridge Solar: Livingston County, 170 MW
  • Mohawk Solar: Montgomery County, 90 MW
  • North Light Energy Center: Seneca County, 80 MW
  • Watkins Glen Solar Energy Center:  Schuyler County, 50 MW
  • Silver Lake Solar: Wyoming County, 25 MW
  • Stillwater Solar: Saratoga County, 20 MW
  • Clay Solar: Onandaga County, 20 MW
  • Dog Corners Solar: Cayuga County, 20 MW
  • Manchester Solar: Ontario County, 20 MW
  • Hills Solar: Herkimer County, 20 MW
  • Skyline Solar: Oneida County, 20 MW
  • Watkins Road Solar 1: Herkimer County, 20 MW
  • Bakerstand Solar 1:, Cattaraugus County, 20 MW
  • Hannacroix Solar Facility: Greene County: 5 MW

It is notable that NextEra’s Excelsior Energy Center will also include a 20 MW battery component. NextEra is the largest renewable energy developer in the United States and has also led on the integration of battery storage, including building the nation’s largest solar-plus-storage project to date.

In this procurement exercise, NextEra secured 360 MW of projects – more than a third of the total solar capacity. Regional developers also caught a fair share, with SunEast Development awarded five projects totaling 100 MW.

NYSERDA also awarded 614 MW of onshore wind capacity spread across four projects, two of which integrate energy storage. The agency said “several” of the renewable energy projects it awarded will break ground this year and all of them should be online by 2022.

The authority said the projects were 14% cheaper than those awarded a year ago, and 23% less expensive than bids received two years back.

Under Democrat Cuomo, NYSERDA has awarded 46 renewable energy projects worth more than $2.9 billion to date. Nor does the Cuomo administration plan to stop there – in April the agency will issue the next solicitation for large-scale renewables.

Maybe we should call him Andy the Builder.