Lack of vision is not among the criticisms that have been made of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Governor Cuomo has not only raised the state’s renewable energy mandate to an aggressive 50% by 2030, but has also instigated the most aggressive redesign of the electric grid to date, the Reforming the Energy Vision process.
And despite the strong success in some regions of the block grants for solar in the NY Sun program, like many East Coast states the portion of electricity that New York gets from renewable energy remains depressingly low. New York met only 4.4% of its electricity demand with in-state non-hydro renewable energy in 2016 – roughly half the national average.
This is the inevitable consequence of arriving late to the renewable energy revolution, but New York is certainly making up for lost time. Yesterday Governor Cuomo’s Office announced that the state’s has received more than 200 bids for projects through a request for proposals in its large-scale renewable energy program, which it touts as the largest clean energy procurement by a state in U.S. history.
The state was seeking to procure 2.5 terawatt-hours (TWh) annually of electricity from renewable energy resources over the course of 10 years, representing $1.5 billion in new generation. This includes 1.5 TWh for the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and 1 TWh for the New York Power Authority (NYPA).
However, the NYSERDA solicitation alone was more than six-times oversubscribed, with 88 proposals from 20 developers representing 4 GW of capacity 9.5 TWh of annual generation. NYPA also received 130 proposals from 51 developers, representing 9 GW of capacity.
Governor Cuomo’s office wasn’t able to say what portion of the bids were for wind versus solar projects. Qualifying bids will be evaluated on price, and proposals for prices are due on Thursday, September 28. A final decision will be made in November.
The 2.5 TWh under this solicitation will meet around 1.7% of New York’s raw electricity demand. This is a large amount of power for a single solicitation, however it will take far more than this to meet the state’s 50% by 2030 mandate for renewable energy, and New York will likely need to make full use of its programs for distributed renewable energy as well.
This comes as the latest developments the REV process has come under criticism, with solar advocates saying that there was not adequate opportunities to evaluate utility proposals for the implementation of the Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) guidelines.
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It’s extremely good news for NY State to have all these proposed utility-sized solar projects, but there is one error:
“….NYSERDA solicitation alone was more than six-times oversubscribed, with 88 proposals from 20 developers representing 4 GW of capacity 9.5 TWh of annual generation”
9.5 TWh from 4 GW solar PV nameplate works out to be 27% capacity factor. Not possible in NY State. NYSERDA itself uses a statewide capacity factor of 13.4% to estimate solar kWh production from rooftop/ground mounted solar PV (see their solar PV database) . 4 GW solar PV in NY State will generate something close to 4.7 TWh.
The 9 GW (NYPA proposals) + 4 GW (NYSERDA proposals) totals 13 GW representing 15.4 TWh (13.4% capacity factor).
The Long Island Solar Farm has a capacity factor of 19%, the highest capacity factor in NY State (see 2017 NYISO Goldbook). No doubt some of those projects are destined for Long Island/southern NY area.
Overall, it’s good news!
Thanks for your comments, and for the CF data for New York solar. I appreciate it when our readers who know these technical details weigh in. However, I think that you are assuming that these will be solar projects. Many of them will be wind, and as of my latest data (bear with me, I’m not a wind expert) 35-40% capacity factors for land-based wind are becoming the norm nationally.
I tried to get a breakdown of how many of these are solar and how many wind proposals, but the state government people I talked with couldn’t help me out with that.
Thanks. My bad assuming all this wonderful proposed renewable infrastructure was all solar PV. It’s puzzling Gov. Cuomo has not released the breakdown between wind and solar (and perhaps other technologies).
Onshore wind capacity factors in NY State average 26 +/- 5% — looking at NYISO’s 2017 Goldbook report for wind. They range 19.8% to 38.8%. The champion CF wind farm is located in Jasper NY, the Marsh Hill Wind Farm.
Stanford’s Mark Jacobson uses a capacity factor of about 40% for offshore wind in NYS published in his plan for 100% renewables in NYS.
Thanks again for correcting me!
Wow. Those are not great capacity factors for wind! Is that new build, or all wind to date that the 26 +/- 5% represents?
40% is also not very good for offshore – but Jacobson’s study is a few years old, and capacity factors for for both land-based and offshore wind have been improving rapidly due to new turbine technology.
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