The Green New Deal in New York will double solar power

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New York State is pushing. In December, buoyed by strong public support for 100% clean energy and a Green New Deal (even if most people don’t know the exact details), New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a proposal for 100% Clean Energy by 2040. Now the Governor is following up with details on the path to get there.

In his far-ranging 2019 State of the State (pdf) presentation, Governor Cuomo summarized past positions related to energy, and has added future goals. Specifically, the document is calling for a “globally unprecedented ramp-up of renewable energy”, which would include:

  • An increase of New York’s successful Clean Energy
    Standard from 50% to 70% renewable
    electricity by 2030, and 100% clean energy by 2040
  • Quadrupling New York’s offshore wind target to 9,000 megawatts by 2035, up from 2,400 megawatts by 2030
  • Doubling distributed solar deployment to 6,000 megawatts by 2025, up from 3,000 megawatts by 2023
  • More than doubling new large-scale land-based wind and solar resources through the Clean Energy Standard
  • Maximizing the contributions and potential of New York’s existing renewable resources
  • Deploying 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030

Also announced was that 20 large-scale solar, wind, and energy storage projects across upstate New York have been awarded via competitive bids as part of the Clean Energy Standard program. The awards were based on a solicitation scheduled in spring of 2018, and the state expects several projects to break ground as early as August 2019, with all projects expected to be operational by 2022.

The specific projects weren’t noted, so do expect pv magazine to report on these at a later date.

The concept of a Green New Deal has been championed by superstar first term U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-The Bronx), and is an expression of the larger political climate that surrounds wind and solar power in the United States.

For instance, a poll highlighted on the Sunrise Movement Instagram account noted that 98% Democrats, 93-96% of centrists, and 66% of loyal Republicans supported a green jobs program. Noted in Cuomo’s Justice Agenda is an apprenticeship program that got $3 million in 2018 for an additional 2,000 positions, as well other measures to support and broaden the participation of New York State’s diverse population.

Other Governors are also on the clean energy and solar power train. Wood Mackenzie has projected that new governors from the most recent election could drive 34 GWac of solar power. Specifically, five new governors – in Connecticut, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada and Maine – are all aiming for 100% clean energy, or very close to it, for their states.