• Under the Accelerated Renewable Energy growth and Community Benefit legislation cleared in NYS, the US state to set up an Office of Renewable Energy Siting
  • The office will be in charge of clearing clean energy projects of over 25 MW capacity entertaining requests for either new construction or expansion of existing projects
  • NYSERDA will also create an incentives program to rapidly advance build-ready projects to prioritize build-ready projects on existing or abandoned commercial sites, brownfields, landfills, former industrial sites, and abandoned or underutilized sites

New York State (NYS) has cleared legislation called Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act, which will help speed up the sighting and construction of clean energy projects in the US east cost state. Under this, an Office of Renewable Energy Siting will be set up to clear siting of large-scale renewable energy projects across the state.

Currently, NYS has an energy generation siting process designed for fossil-fuel electric generating plants, but under the act the siting office will consolidate environmental reviews of major renewable energy generation facilities and deliver siting decisions for renewable energy projects in a timely manner. It will consider all projects larger than 25 MW, both for construction or expansion.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), one among the implementing authorities of the act, will also be responsible for creating a Clean Energy Resources Development and Incentives Program to rapidly advance build-ready projects with a view to prioritizing development of existing or abandoned commercial sites, brownfields, landfills, former industrial sites, and abandoned or underutilized sites. NYSERDA will then competitively auction developed sites, bundling these with contracts for renewable energy payments to provide a fully de-risked package for private developers to construct and operate these projects.

NYS will also prioritize transmission and grid planning to allow swift delivery of renewable energy.

“This new law will support a rapid transition to clean renewable energy sources and ensure that our enormous pipeline of large-scale renewable energy projects can be responsibly permitted, bolster the state’s economy, and deliver health, environmental, and economic benefits to all New Yorkers,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton.

The hardest hit US state by COVID-19, NYS believes this legislation will dramatically speed up renewable energy projects to combat climate change and help jumpstart the state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 health crisis.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Senior Director of State Affairs, Northeast, David Gahl hailed the move saying, “These are unprecedented times and we appreciate that amidst the COVID-19 crisis, the New York legislature and governor are prioritizing the long-term stability and growth of the solar market.” He added, “This week New York leaders made the difficult decision to halt construction projects, thereby shutting down solar installations. When the state recovers from this public health crises, we will need to get New Yorkers back in their solar jobs so that we can jumpstart the state’s economy and lead New York’s recovery efforts.”

New York is seeking to go 100% carbon free in its electricity supply by 2040 and ensure 70% renewable energy supply by 2030.