In a statement issued this week, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) have released a long-anticipated call for renewable energy as part of the state’s efforts to meet its 30% forecast by 2015 renewable portfolio standard (RPS).
They are seeking a $250 million solicitation, administered by NYSERDA, and looking for electric generation projects that use wind, solar, hydroelectric, biomass and other clean energy resources. According to NYSERDA, the funding is a critical component of the governor’s “Energy Highway Blueprint” that will upgrade and modernize New York’s aging energy infrastructure with modern input.
The RPS funding will be awarded competitively, with recipients expected to be announced by summer 2013, so get those bids in now.
Some say the lag between New York’s last call for power, which was issued in December 2011, has hindered wind energy development. The previous solicitation, which was for $132 million, only resulted in contracts for seven new or upgraded wind power facilities.
Despite the delay, the latest proposal signifies another step by New York state towards achieving the ambitious goals of its RPS, according to Patrick Doyle, a veteran New York wind energy developer in the area.
According to Doyle:
NYSERDA should be commended for their ongoing efforts to overcome market uncertainties, such as those caused by expiring federal renewable energy incentives. Through ongoing innovation and leadership by NYSERDA and the state can continue to reap a harvest of clean, renewable, homemade electricity. This commitment to the future of renewable energy generated in the state reflects the economic and environmental gains achieved thus far under the RPS and is consistent with the objectives identified in Governor Cuomo’s Energy Highway Blueprint. I am hopeful that in the forthcoming New York state energy plan discussions and the upcoming review of the RPS, they will continue to encourage renewable energy construction by incorporating best practices from other renewable energy programs – such as long-term contracts for bundled energy – to attract investors, further reduce uncertainty and lower electricity production costs.
Under New York’s RPS program, NYSERDA has current Main Tier contracts with 54 large-scale renewable electricity generators, and the projects include 17 wind farms spread out over the state. Over the next 20 years, the direct benefits from the projects currently within the RPS program are expected to approach $2.4 billion, and the effects on the broader economy are estimated at more than $4.9 billion by all reports, this is a huge shot in the arm for a lagging economy in the energy sector. Lots of jobs to be created by these projects, by all reports.
If you are looking for a career change and live in New York, this could be a large opportunity for you to get involved. Renewable energy is the fastest growing sector of the energy growth during this cycle, and wind energy is second only to biomass in growth. If you have been thinking about this, now is the time: check out more information on these upcoming projects.