The Governor of the state of New York Andrew M. Cuomo, has announced a $160 million investment designed to grow large scale clean energy projects statewide. As part of the State’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy, this funding is being made available to support public-private sector partnerships in clean energy projects.

Funding will be administered competitively, and proposals will improve energy affordability and reliability, while also expanding new economic development opportunities and protecting the environment.

“This funding is a crucial resource for the development of New York’s clean energy infrastructure, and by supporting large scale projects we are ensuring that the grid can meet the needs of a growing economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “Investing in these kinds of projects is another example of how we are building a cleaner and more sustainable future in New York State, and I look forward to seeing that progress unfold in the years ahead.”

REV calls for creating a cleaner, more reliable and more affordable energy system in New York State. This funding will support significant private investment in renewable energy sources such as wind farms, fuel cells, biomass facilities, renewable biogas and the upgrading of small- to medium-sized hydropower projects that provide power to the electric grid. More information about the solicitation process is available here.

This $160 million competitive solicitation promotes development of a broad range of new clean energy resources. Contracts for these projects will be awarded for a term of up to 20 years. Recognizing the maturation of fuel cell equipment, for the first time ever, fuel cell projects will also be eligible for 20-year contracts.

Support for these new grid-based projects will be provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through the Main Tier of the State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which is New York’s primary policy to promote the development of new large-scale renewable energy resources.

For every $1 invested in RPS Main Tier projects, New York realizes $3 in economic benefits. More than $3 billion of direct investment in New York State is expected as a result of existing Main Tier projects in the form of jobs, payments to public entities, in-state purchase of goods and services and land leases.

NYSERDA’s previous nine RPS Main Tier solicitations for large-scale renewable projects have resulted in approximately 2,036 megawatts of installed capacity at 65 projects that, once operational, will generate more than five million megawatt-hours of renewable energy annually. Another Main Tier solicitation is expected to be released in 2016.

New York State Energy and Finance Chairman Richard Kauffman said, “While we envision a more localized power grid in the future, it is imperative we ensure our large-scale generation sources are as clean as possible. With certainty and transparency, New York State is establishing itself as an attractive environment for private developers to invest and create new jobs in the state’s growing clean economy.”

NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes said, “The large clean energy projects that are made possible by this RPS investment will have a positive impact on the environment and the economy of New York State. In addition, they will help advance Governor Cuomo’s energy objectives, including the growth of renewable electric generation projects.”

Public Service Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman said, “With Governor Cuomo’s continued support of a clean environment and the creation of new renewable energy resources, New York is able to further its long-standing commitment to develop large-scale renewable energy projects. The funding announced today will help create a more diverse energy supply, spur economic development, and result in a cleaner, healthier environment – outcomes consistent with the Governor’s environment and energy initiatives.”

Senator Rich Funke said, “The Rochester area is an emerging leader in fuel cell and renewable energy development, with RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability leading the way. I thank NYSERDA for moving to offer 20 year contracts under the Renewable Portfolio Standard; this is a good first step as we continue our work to offer a stronger package of incentives to spur fuel cell development in our community and across the state.”

Senator Joseph Griffo said, “As Chair of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, I applaud NYSERDA’s decision to improve the Renewable Portfolio Standard program by increasing the length of contracts available for fuel cells from ten years to twenty years. This change will allow fuel cell developers to compete on a more level playing field with other clean energy companies. Fuel cell technology has come a long way and will be an important resource as we carefully move forward in modernizing New York’s electricity grid.

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin said, “As Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee, the Governor’s announcement includes a critical amendment that will help improve the integration and industry growth of fuel cells across New York State. Giving equal access to fuel cells along with solar and wind will ensure New York takes a leading and diverse approach to spurring clean energy innovation and economic development. I’m pleased to be working with Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA on these important renewable energy initiatives.”

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